As we, in America, approach our Thanksgiving Day Holiday, we are reminded of all we have to be thankful for; and from whom all our blessings come. However, being thankful should not just be a one day event! Let thankfulness permeate our being. It should be an everyday and all consuming frame of mind.
As stated in the Bible in 1Thessalonians 5:16-18(NKJV) “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
Because God is good!
Psalm 118:29 (NKJV)“Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!”
On this Thanksgiving, even in the midst of all the turmoil surrounding us all, I encourage you to be thankful. We still have many things to be thankful about. God bless you all. Happy Thanksgiving!
While standing at the front of this church building, it automatically causes me to look up. This steeple is awesome, but at the same time it makes me feel small and helpless. My thoughts turn heavenward, causing me to cry out to my Lord and God. What a comfort it is knowing He is there for us. This is just a building, however it does represent God to us. The building is built with a stone foundation and stands strong. How much more is our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ our true rock and foundation? He stands even stronger!
In our daily life, with all the trials and struggles we sometimes face, isn’t it a comfort and wonder to know we have a God who is with us to help? The troubles can overwhelm us, making us feel small and helpless, as when standing by such a towering building. When we choose to look upon our true rock and foundation, God, we feel empowered and strengthened. Why? Let us read what the Bible tells us in His word about Jesus as our rock.
Psalms 18:2 (NIV)
“The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.”
While a church building may represent God to us, I am grateful to have the living God, my True Rock and Foundation to stand on. I pray you do as well, and if not, will you consider Him today?
Are you anxious, worried, stressed, or uneasy? Are you concerned about all the situations and circumstances in your life? Do you not know that you are of great value to God? We read in Matthew 6:26 (NKJV):
“Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?”
The picture above illustrates this scripture well. Walking along the Saint Lawrence Seaway Trail, the birds above were soaring, gliding, and fluttering about. They were enjoying themselves and appeared not to have a care in the world. They moved about with great ease. We tend to get heavy laden at times in life. We stumble and struggle through the days. The cares of the world take away our peace and joy. God does not want us to carry all these cares upon ourselves. He is our ever-present help in time of need. He tells us in His word to come to Him and to cast our care onto Him.
“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28 (NKJV)
“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:6-7(NKJV)
The birds really do not have a care in the world; we should not either! He wants us to trust Him, in all things. Give all our concerns to Him, so we too can glide our way along this earthly journey. Watching God’s extraordinary creation is surely a confirmation of what He proclaims in His word. To God be the glory! Cast your care upon Him, He truly does care for you. Do not forget that you are of great value to God!
One afternoon I was taking out our little Dachshund for some air and other business. I was feeling a little down, with all that is going on in the world right now. It can get overwhelming at times. We not only have to deal with the corona virus illness itself, but with all the unrest and conflict resulting from all the experts and leaders. As I was mulling all this over in my mind, a question came upon me. It was “Why are you cast down?” Immediately I lifted my eyes up to the sky and cried out to God in prayer, fully considering the Bible verse in Psalm 43:5 (NKJV):
“Why are you cast down, O my soul?”
I looked straight up in the sky above, and as I focused my eyes, I was delighted at the beautiful scene I beheld. The sun was brightly shining, illuminating through the clouds, brightening up the cloudy atmosphere. I felt a sense of great peace, comfort, and thankfulness. Yes, why am I cast down? I have no reason to be cast down. God encouraged me to lift my eyes to Him! Let us look at Psalm 123:1(NKJV):
“Unto you I lift up my eyes, O you who dwell in the heavens.”
Despite all our surroundings and trials in this world, God is in control. He is there for us. He will never leave us nor forsake us. Just take the time to look unto Jesus, He will never fail us. We can get through all things with Him at our side. Be encouraged, be of good cheer, God is our help. We will get through this.
“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John 16:33(NKJV)
While standing near the edge of The Grand Canyon an overwhelming sense of awe and wonder, along with a little fear and trembling, came upon me. Stunned, I gazed out in amazement. Overlooking the absolute beauty and grandeur of this sight was a breath-taking experience! One cannot even begin to grasp what lies before you.
My mind marveled at the awesomeness of this creation by God. The magnificence of The Grand Canyon can be unfathomable. Looking upon the width and length and depth and height of it, it appears infinite, although it is not. The Grand Canyon is finite with limits and boundaries, despite its largeness.
Now consider this, if God can create something like The Grand Canyon in all its splendor, how incredible is God Himself? He is not finite and has no limits and boundaries. Who can understand His width, length, depth, and height? He does not even have any measurements. What does this say about His vastness and infiniteness? In Ephesian 3:17-19 (NKJV) we read what The Bible has to say about this very subject:
“That Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”
This is wonderful to ponder and meditate on. God has a never-ending love for us. He cares for us and no matter what situation you are going through; it is not too hard for Him! Let us look at Jeremiah 32:17 (NKJV):
“Ah, Lord God! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard for You.”
This should bring you hope, peace and comfort to know what a loving God we have. His vast and deep love for us is unending. His love is infinite with a depth immeasurable, that reaches every aspect of our life. Marvel at the awesomeness of God Himself! He cares for you. God’s blessing on you all.
Spring has finally arrived, and we embrace the miracle of new life appearing again. Gently, yet determined to push through, the lilac appears, birthing a new flower. New life has come! We see the flower peeking out and get to enjoy the beauty it brings. Yes, the lilac is lovely to look at, but another benefit is the pleasant fragrance it offers. This rebirthing brings us a sense of hope. It tells us the lilac plant endured through another winter. If we persevere through hardships; we also can experience renewal in our life.
The lilac tree persevered through the cold, snowy and icy weather. Patiently, it waited to bloom, to become all God wanted it to be. It forbearingly endured through the difficult winter. This is not always easy. Ladies think of giving birth. Patiently you wait for the baby to form and be ready. Then the time comes to push out this new life; so, it can grow into all God has designed for it.
Now we can apply this to our daily struggles; in which we all find ourselves. Life has a way of bringing us many trials and tribulations. These difficult times can help us to grow stronger if we persevere. They can bring about refreshment and renewal on the other side. God tells us this in Romans 5:3 (NKJV):
“And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance.”
Of course, none of us like going through trials or tribulations; however, we must keep our mind on the result. Be strong and persevere, do not grow weary my friends for God promised us help when we fall into various trials. The Bible tells us in James 1:2-8(NKJV) to count it all joy, looking to the end of the trial.
“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. 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. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.”
We are all in a tribulation of great multitude at this point with Covid 19 spreading wildly. It has affected the entire world and each of us personally, in many ways. Look to God to help us through this. Let us pray the end of this matter will help us all to see things a little differently. Not that all this horror is good, but during this pause, take time to reflect and find what really matters. Become all God wants you to be. Let Him work in and through you. Bloom fully! Be well, stay safe and God Bless.
“The name of the Lord is a strong tower; The righteous run to it and are safe.” Proverbs 18:10 (NKJV)
The Chapel of the Holy Cross in Sedona, Arizona, surely is a representation of Jesus our strong tower. What a joy to have been able to view this in person. The cross is predominating; you really can’t miss it! It is upright in its glory for all to clearly see.
The Cross is a symbol of joy, love, peace, grace, hope, mercy, salvation, safety and so much more. Ultimately, it stands for the Lord Jesus Christ, Himself. This is, of course, all wonderful for us; however, it goes much deeper than this. The joy, love, sacrifice and all of what I mentioned above are the result of the willingness of the “Son of God” to endure this ordeal. The other side of the story had to take place for this symbol to mean so much to us.
Let us consider the “other side of the story,” as we are in the Lenten season. During this time, we need to reflect and consider all that Jesus endured for us. Without His willingness to tolerate this pain, we would not have the glorious Resurrection Day, Easter, to celebrate.
“Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save Me from this hour.’ But for this purpose, I came to this hour. ‘Father, glorify your name.’” John 12:27-28 (NKJV)
Jesus was aware, His entire life, of the reason He was sent to earth and all that He would go through. Actually, He foreknew before His earthly existence, yet He still came to die for us. He bore this burden for our salvation.
“And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling to the ground.” Luke 22:44 (NKJV)
The physical suffering and agony that He was put through, is greater than any of us could ever imagine. As a matter of fact, it was unbearable. We focus on this aspect more, but what about the emotional suffering He experienced? He prayed and literally sweated drops of blood over His upcoming fulfilling of purpose. I believe the emotional was even more unbearable than the physical. Consider this, Jesus the Son of God, part of the trinity, in heavenly bliss with His Father, knowing no sin, became sin for us and was separated from God. This caused Him to cry out, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” Matthew 27:46 (NKJV)
Ponder this, He was physically whipped, tortured, beaten, mocked, shamed, crucified; and then He was separated from God, as the sin of the world fell on Him. This was the ultimate agony that He endured for us. Yes, The Cross, is a symbol of joy, love, peace, grace, hope, mercy, salvation, safety and so much more. Prayerfully, we will never forget the reason why. All this leads us to Easter, Resurrection Day! Hallelujah, thanks be to our God!
For a full detailed account of Jesus’ suffering go to: inspirationalcorner.blog/easter, it is an inspirational read. I highly recommend it.
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)
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
answered and said to them, when it is evening you say, ‘It will be fair
weather, for the sky is red.’” Matthew