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

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!

Come Unto Me, I Will Give You Rest

I Will Give You Rest

“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28 (NKJV)

This setting is calling out to us to come and sit for a while.  It says to take a rest; be still, learn and reflect. In these times of great busyness, this is a lost practice.  In this world of stress, distractions and many troubles, we can lose sight of God and the peace we can have in Him. He wants to know us, and for us to know Him. Many things get in the way. We don’t make the time we need to build that relationship.  It takes time to get to know Him and His word to us.   He desires for us to have a relationship with Him. God wants to ease our burdens. We must give them to Him, and He will give us rest.  Let us learn to stop, be still and listen.

Furthermore, Matthew 11:29-30 (NKJV), speaks to us still more:

“Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

As I think about how being still and spending time with the Lord is quickly becoming a missing practice, this old hymn came to mind. Sadly, hymns have become a lost entity as well.  Really listen to the words in the hymn William Longstaff wrote.  We are inspired to “Be holy, for I am holy” as said in 1 Peter 1:16(NKJV)

                        Hymn Lyrics:

 Take time to be holy, speak oft with thy Lord;                                   Find  rest in Him always, and feed on His Word.       Make friends of God’s children, help those who are weak,      Forgetting in nothing His blessing to seek.

Take time to be holy, the world rushing on; Much time spend in secret, with Jesus alone.               By looking to Jesus, like Him thou shalt be;                                          Thy friends in thy conduct His likeness shall see.

 Take time to be holy, let Him be thy Guide;                                    And run not before Him, whatever betide.                                       In joy or in sorrow, still follow the Lord,                                          And, looking to Jesus, still trust in His Word.

Let us be sure to come to Jesus and take time to be holy.  The picture bids us to, “Come Sit Awhile.”

Hymn “Take Time To Be Holy” Written by William Longstaff, 1882. Public Domain