Breathe On Me

Your Very Breath Sustains Me

One afternoon I was outside in my backyard enjoying the wildflowers that were growing. There was a refreshing summer breeze blowing. It was an invigorating moment. One of life’s gifts to help us forget, if only for that moment, the troubles around us.

As I looked down at the flowers, I watched with interest, how the breeze gently picked up the open petals and blew them to the side. Softly, the breeze came along and lifted the petals right up guiding them over. I try to see God in His creation and   look to see what He says in His word; then put it together.

So along came the breeze and gently lifted the petals on the flower. It directed them. The breeze whispered by as if to say:                                                                   

“I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:20 NKJV

“I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5 NKJV

“Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it’.” Isaiah 30:21 NKJV

“You will show me the path of life; In your presence is fullness of joy.” Psalm 16:11 NKJV

“Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10 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

“Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him.” Psalm 37:7 NKJV

Learn from the flower to rest in Him. It trusted as the wind gently picked up its petals and directed them to the side. At this moment, it knew that everything would be okay. There was no struggle, it just went with the flow. If only we could truly learn to rest and trust in the Lord. We could save ourselves a lot of trouble. Lay your burdens down at His feet and believe He will uphold you through it all. Let the Holy Spirit guide you and direct you. Truly rest in Him! Invite His breath to flow on you.

© Denise L. Calandra 2020

Scriptures for daily thought and encouragement.          

Destinations

Let Your Eyes Look Straight Ahead

Looking at these train tracks, watching as they fade far off into the horizon, many thoughts and memories come to mind. It brings me back to my childhood days on Long Island. Trains were and are a major part of life there. They are an alternative form of transportation into New York City, avoiding the Long Island Expressway experience. You can take the train to many other places as well. They are an important form of transportation.

When you see train tracks what do you think of? Perhaps, a journey, an enjoyable ride, traveling to a vacation area or a daily commute to get to a specific place? Trains do not hold the same role for all people. A train might stand for a pleasurable trip somewhere, instead of a daily commute. There also are freight trains, which bring supplies and food to places for us to use in our daily lives. We can see that trains are useful for transporting people or items from one place to another. They bring us to a specific destination.

As we journey through life on earth, from a Christian perspective, we have a precise destination before us.  Our purpose is to make it to this destination, our true home in Heaven!  While reaching this goal becomes our focus or concern; we do not want to neglect the experience itself along the way. 

May I ask you a few questions? How are you doing on your pilgrimage? First, do you know your destination? If so, are you staying on track? Have you been derailed along the way? It can be too easy to get distracted and get off course! We as Christians, have a destination we are reaching for.  We have a “conductor” guiding us as we travel along. He is there to help us keep on track.                                         

Most of us are familiar with the movie “Polar Express.” Let us consider this movie. It has a destination, which is The North Pole. There were passengers aboard for the ride. They were picked up along the way, especially for this train ride. They were not there by chance. Each one was going to the same place, the North Pole. However, they each had their own struggles to overcome along the way. The conductor knew each person and each situation. He was guiding them along and helping them to overcome their problems. They were each shown what they needed, from the conductor. He gave them their tickets punched with their need on it.  One was to BELIEVE. Another was to LEAD. One was to RELY ON, and another LEARN.  They each received a special message for their unique situation.

Let us now get back to us trekking along on our paths. Do you feel overwhelmed, confused, lost, unsure, unworthy, alone, tossed about, or distracted? We have a destination we want to get to. We have struggles along the way also. Sometimes we can feel so overwhelmed or alone we allow ourselves to get sidetracked. Do not be dismayed for we have THE TRUE conductor, Jesus Christ, to guide us on our way. He is our keeper and is showing us the way to overcome all obstacles. He cares for you and me. He is making sure we make it to our destination, home with Him.  He helps each of us in our own special need. He wants us to BELIEVE, LEARN, RELY ON, and LEAD. We must look to Him and His word to stay on track.  Proverbs 4:25-27 (NKJV) admonishes us to do that!

“Let your eyes look straight ahead, And your eyelids look right before you, 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.”

© Denise L Calandra 2020

Scriptures for daily thought and encouragement.

The Fruit Of The Spirit Is…

Let The Love Of God Enfold You

Let this scripture and thought be a guide and encouragement to us this day. We especially need to consider where our help comes from in these times of turmoil. God Bless you all. Stay safe and well.

Copyright: Denise L Calandra 2020

Scriptures for daily thought and encouragement.

The Light At The End Of The Tunnel

Could It Be Something Like This?

Many of us have heard stories from people who were close to death.  They tell about their experience of seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.  There have been quite a number of these accounts in near-death situations. This is definitely a reassurance how God is there and is REAL. 

Have you ever wondered what it might be like to see this light?  When visiting Whiteface Mountain, in The Adirondacks of New York, to get to the top of the mountain; you must walk through the tunnel pictured above.  As I stood at the entrance to this tunnel, I couldn’t help but think about, “The Light at the end of the tunnel!”  Could it be something like this? I need to follow the light.

In life, we face many different circumstances. In some of them, we may long for the end of the problem to arrive.   We might have to endure for a longer time than we like.  The expression “There is light at the end of the tunnel,” is used to help us get through.  If we put our trust in God, we always have hope.  Keep looking to the Lord, He is the light of the world.  He tells us this in John 8:12 (NKJV). 

“Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”

At this moment in time, we are waiting upon the Lord to calm the storm of illness from spreading its destruction any further.   We all have many emotions to deal with during this crisis.  We must go to God and His word to get His faithful reassurance.

“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 the 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 4:17-18(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)

Keep looking to the Lord, our light, and get through the tunnel confidently.  God Bless and be well. 

©Denise L Calandra

Scriptures for daily thought and encouragement.

Clap Your Hands, Give Praise To God Our Creator!

Lift up our eyes and hands to God

While having the opportunity to explore the coastal areas of Alaska, I was pleasantly surprised.  I had the enjoyment of experiencing nature in its purest form.  It caused me to consider how the world might have looked, as God was creating it. It was overwhelmingly, awe-inspiring for me.  God’s creation is awesome! What a blessing; truly, this was a refreshing adventure.  I wonder what beauty lies further inland.  That waits for a future endeavor.

Looking upon this forest of trees, I began to sense the abundance of God.  He is not a small God, but wonderfully unlimited in all He has to offer us.  The thought, nothing is too hard for God, comes to mind.  He tells us this in Jeremiah 32:27 (NKJV):

“Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh.  Is there anything too hard for Me?”  

Sometimes in our busy life, we need to step back, take a long deep breath, and give God all the praise and worship due to Him. We need to learn from His creation of nature.  Look closely at all the trees in the picture above, they are focused upward, to the heavens.  They know whom their creator and God is. They have no problem giving Him the glory and praise due to Him!  What about us?  Do we struggle in this?

I had no intention of talking about the situation the entire world finds itself in, at present.  However, this is a unique problem.  COVID-19 is affecting every nation and the way we all live our lives. Suddenly, the world seems a lot smaller.  We are all connected, and most definitely, dependent on God, the creator of all. So, is this our time to all take pause and reflect on what really matters? Perhaps it is time to put aside our differences, along with the hate and fear. This only divides us more. The two following scriptures remind us of who and what is important.

“Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, Let not the mighty man glory in his might, Nor let the rich man glory in his riches; But let him who glories glory in this, That he understands and knows Me, That I am the Lord, exercising lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth. For in these I delight,’ says the Lord.”  Jeremiah 9:23-24 (NKJV)

“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, The Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.”  Deuteronomy 6:4-5 (NKJV)

Despite all that is going on in this world, remember God is still in control. We are His creation; He wants us to take time to know and to praise Him!  Be like the trees, look unto God.  Praise Him in all things.  Be safe and stay well.

“I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.” Psalm 34:1 (NKJV)

© Denise L Calandra

Thoughts, Resolutions, Pondering and Contemplation…As we consider a New Year Ahead.

Consider all that may be ahead. A vast amount of opportunity lies before us.

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

© Denise L. Calandra

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.

He Is Our Covering

God Is Our Covering

 “He spread a cloud for a covering, And fire to give light in the night.”        Psalm 105:39(NKJV)

 The picture featured, illustrates this scripture very well. It shows the cloud, as the covering.  The sun, with the red glow, portrays the fire. Psalm 105:39 tells us how God was there for the Israelite’s all through their exodus and journey in the wilderness.  God led them out, but didn’t desert them, even though the Israelite’s complained like He had. That is not true, He supported them all along the way.  They weren’t living a luxurious lifestyle, but their needs were being met in miraculous ways. Some thought it would be better to go back to Egypt.  Had they already forgotten why they cried out to be delivered? They were living under harsh bondage.  God is loving and caring.

“Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we may boldly say: ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?’” Hebrews 13: 5-6(NKJV)

We really can’t say too much about the Israelite’s and how they behaved, because we must honestly look at our own lives to see we have fallen into the same attitudes. We, who have the Holy Spirit as our helper, cannot even walk as we should. We grumble and complain. We are not content, as it tells us in the verse in Hebrews. God does care for us and is there for us through everything.  He hasn’t deserted us either! His word teaches and guides us. 

 “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” Hebrews 13:8 (NKJV)

This scripture says a lot.  Simply put, it tells us that God doesn’t change. He gave us the Bible, His word; Holy Spirit inspired, for us to have and live by.  It is His Story from creation (Genesis) to His coming again (Revelation). It has the beginning, the fall of man, His plan to redeem us, guides to life, many promises, the end; basically, everything we need to live by.  God was with the Israelite’s as they wandered along their pilgrimage, and He is also with us as we travel on ours. May we at no time forget that He is our God, He is our helper, and He will not at any time leave us nor forsake us.  God does not change; He will always be there for us.  God is our covering.

The Light Shines In The Darkness

Midnight Blue

In this picture, I see it is the night, the time of darkness.  However, God does not leave us without light.

Then God said, ‘Let there be light’; and there was light.  And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness.  God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night.  So, the evening and the morning were the first day.” Genesis 1:3-5 (NKJV)

There was a darkness that was hovering over the waters when God created light, giving us day and night.  A little while later God added two specific lights to help guide us. 

   “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. Genesis 1:16 (NKJV)

Now, we have the Sun to rule the day, and the Moon to rule the night.  Even so, the greatest factor in all of this is told in the following verse by the Apostle John.

“This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.” 1 John 1:5 (NKJV)

God is light. He emanates light from His being!  No darkness can dwell in Him. Looking at this picture, at the bottom, we see the deepest darkness.  As we get further away from the light, the darker it is.  When we get closer to the light, the darkness is illuminated.  It changes to more of a blue, I call this Midnight Blue.”  His light glows through the darkness, clearing the way until it beams out shining brightly for all to see.  God cannot contain Himself; His light must shine forth.  He is the light of the world.

Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” John 8:12 (NKJV)

God is faithful, from the beginning until the end of time. All of this is part of His plan. 

“It shall be established forever like the moon, Even like the faithful witness in the sky.” Selah Psalm 89:37(NKJV)

Midnight Blue

In our midnight hour, when all is blue, He is there.  When it is the darkest, look up, do not fear.  The light of God dwells within, it is always near.  He will enfold you in His loving care.  He is faithful, constant, steadfast and true.  We can always trust the light to help us through.  God is the light in the darkness. He is forever true.

Walk in His ways and the darkness will have no hold. Let His light shine.

   “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:5 (NIV)