Monthly Archives: August 2017

Slow Down to See God’s Gifts

I love to worship God.  I love to see His glory in His creation.

I saw this beautiful clematis. But it wasn’t until I stopped, moved the camera lens in closer, that I saw the incredible detail.  Why does God take the time to create such beauty, that we too often miss?  God made us to worship and glorify Him. I think God creates incredible beauty for us to find when we slow down and and enjoy the world around us.

I love how some of the other Bible versions tell how to Ascribe Glory to God – Honor, Worship, Give, Praise.

Honor the Lord for the glory of His name.  Worship the Lord in the splendor of His holiness.  New Living Translation

Give to the Eternal the glory due His name; worship Him with lavish displays of sacred splendor.  The Voice

Praise the Lord for the glory of His name; worship the Lord because He is holy.  New Century Version

Take some time to spend before the face of God. It is a great time to walk through the park or the woods. Enjoy the flower gardens. Walk down by the creek or lake and look at the rocks and critters.  Our 7-year-old gets this.  Whenever she is over, she spends a long time looking at all the rocks under the deck, looking for fossils. She’s found some incredibly tiny ones.  She was just at a lake and loved finding tiny shells and snails.

One of the best days to do this is on Sunday.  God made the Sabbath for rest, recovery and time to spend enjoying Him. Take some time this coming Sunday to enjoy God’s beautifully unique creation up close and personal.

Praying you can find some time to slow down and enjoy God’s creation ~ Faye

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Blow Wind, Blow

 

The wind blows John 3v8

I like the saying – “If you can explain God, He wouldn’t be God.”  People try to explain the Holy Spirit and His work. Believers in Christ Jesus are given the gift of the Holy Spirit in their lives to help them in their growing relationship with God so they may encourage others in their walk with God.  The Bible tells us in 1 Corinthians 12-14, that the Holy Spirit gives believers spiritual gifts of encouragement, hospitality, faith, healing, and many more gifts.  And in Galatians 5:22-23,

 “… the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness, and self-control. 

In John 3, Jesus is talking to Nicodemus, a Jewish Religious Leader.  Jesus explained to Nicodemus how a person can enter the Kingdom of God. He said, . . .

without being born of water and the Spirit.  Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life.   So don’t be surprised when I say, ‘You must be born again.’  The wind blows wherever it wants. Just as you can hear the wind but can’t tell where it comes from or where it is going, so you can’t explain how people are born of the Spirit.”  John 3:5b-8 [New Living Translation]

The Holy Spirit isn’t easy to explain, and neither is how He works to change people’s hearts to believe.  That’s where FAITH comes in. We need to surrender our hearts and believe that Jesus Christ is the one and only Son of God. He died to forgive us of ALL of our sins. All we need to do is BELIEVE. When we do that the Holy Spirit lives in us and begins to change us to be more and more like Jesus every day.

Celebrate Your Weakness!

Whoever thought they would be encouraged to be grateful for being weak?  Recently a godly daughter of God left her earthly home and appeared before Jesus. She received her very own white stone with her specially chosen, unique name.

(Revelation 2:17b – “And I (Jesus) will give to each one (believer) a white stone, and on the stone will be engraved a new name that no one understands except the one who receives it.”)

Yvonne was the epitome of being someone who, though being weaker in her body the past few months, was filled with the immense strength of God.  When you visited with her, planning to encourage and bless her, you left being blessed by her deep love of God. The spirit of God lived in her and radiated from her.

The thing is, Yvonne, didn’t necessarily “take pleasure” in her weakness. There was a lot of pain some days. When we spoke, she shared that she struggled with the idea that at this time of her life she wasn’t able to serve others but had to rely on the service of others. I would reply that she WAS serving God in a completely different way.  She WAS AN ENCOURAGER through her words, smile, and hugs. She would share how God worked in her life and in the lives of others. She was very aware of God working through the prayers of His people. She loved to laugh at the humor in life, always appreciating the gift of Irish blarney. She shared how her 66 years of marriage to Tom were a blessing. Yvonne’s dedication to Tom in his last days was another sign of God’s strength through weakness. She would sing in Tom’s ear in church when his memory was failing. She saw the good in people and didn’t focus on the negative. Yvonne was FILLED with GOD’s STRENGTH.

My life has been so much richer having had Yvonne and Tom in my life.

I pray you will have a wonderful Christian mentor in your life and that you will be filled with the power and strength of God through your lifetime journey ~ Faye

 

Did You Know Marriage Takes Work?

 

Rich and I have been married 41 years this May. There have been great times filled with joy, growth and love. And there have been times of struggle and pain. There have been times when we’ve hurt each other deeply.  There have been times when we’ve blessed each other immensely.

Mom and Dad cancerIt helps to know that we have had strong mentor roles in both of our parents who cared for each other and stayed by each other through very difficult times. For example, in 2002 both of my parents were diagnosed with cancer in the salivary gland within 4 weeks of each other. I watched them devote themselves to care and love each other through the difficult times of chemo, radiation, meds and health changes.

I saw my mother-in-law struggle with cancerearl and betty laughing of the stomach, liver, lungs and bone for five years while my father-in-law encouraged, supported and cared for her. Then my mom struggled with the debilitating effects of Parkinsons disease and dementia, and my dad showed a level of care and patience for her I never had seen before. When my mother-in-law was diagnosed with multiple system atrophy where the muscles in her body progressively shut down, I saw the love and commitment to God shine through my father-in-law as he devotedly cared for her. There were days I’m sure both dads wanted to just cry out “Why?” or “How Long, O Lord?”.

Sometimes difficulties in marriages can be just petty things – squeezing the toothpaste differently, putting the toilet paper on the “wrong” direction, leaving dishes laying around. But other times it can be serious difficulties. Sometimes it can be withdrawal or detachment from the relationship. Illnesses, such as depression, cancer, addictions, autoimmune disorders, all can alter the way “marriage is supposed to be”.

In the past few years Rich and I have been going through some challenging times. Through these difficulties, God has brought us closer and closer to Him. We have both found strength, comfort and encouragement from His word. We both work hard at spending time meditating on a small portion of God’s word so that it gives us hope, encouragement and guidance for our journey together. I guess that may be why when I was reading Romans 12:9-10 [New Living Translation] verse 10 really struck me:

Bleeding Heart

Delight in Honoring each other Rom 12 10b

Wow! Have I really loved Rich with GENUINE AFFECTION – God’s unfailing and unconditional love type of affection – especially when life has been difficult and Rich hasn’t lived up to my expectations? And then even more so – Do I really take delight in honoring him?

If something Rich did hurt me deeply, do I pretend to love him, or do I still really love him? And can I, through God’s leading, hate what is wrong and hold tightly to what is good about him?

This passage has really challenged me in the past few days to keep my focus on loving Rich with God’s unconditional love –

“Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good.  Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. ”       ~ Romans 12:9-10 NLT

You know, when we put our hope and trust in God, we are filled with His unfailing love. And He tells us to share His unconditional, unfailing love with others. Maybe doing that should begin at home!

Praying for you as you work through your relationships, that you trust in God’s unconditional and unfailing love to guide you.  ~ From a continual work in progress – Faye

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