Creation Speaks

cultivating eyes to see and hearts to hear

a web log promoted by Comfort Cafe           by deb allen          an outreach of

“By taking a long and thoughtful look at what God has created,
people have always been able to see what their eyes as such can't see:
eternal power, for instance, and the mystery of his divine being.”

Romans 1:20 (The Message)

For more information including the intent and inspiration of this Blog click here.

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Creation Speaks 2009 Devotional Blog

December 31 , 2007

"You crown the year with Your goodness;
Your ways overflow with plenty."

Psalm 65:11 HCSB

What could be more fitting than to crown the end of our year with the Christmas season? What greater gift could we have ever received than the gift of eternal life offered through the life and sacrifice of Jesus Christ?

Looking back over 2007 – it is a year of indescribable blessings – yet it is also a year holding heart-rending loss for many of us. Where would we be without the hope, the promise born that first Christmas?  

On this last day of 2007, my heart overflows with gratitude and awe as I think on the many blessings received from God's hand in the here and now, and then again in His promises made for our forever.  

As we close this year, take a moment with me and thank Him for His awesome mercy, goodness and love.

Close your eyes and ask Him to impart to your heart a glimpse into the fulfillment of His promise born at Christmas – eternal life, eternal joy. Every tear will be wiped away. Everything will be okay.

Yes, close your eyes and let Him take you in His arms and hold you close to His heart. Feel His heart beat in yours. Embrace His promise, His hope, His peace that passes all understanding, His joy unspeakable and full of glory. Just a glimpse for now of the glory to come. Just a glimpse.

Then hold His assurance in your heart and let it carry you into the New Year with a lighter heart, a thankful heart, a heart ready to give all the love you have to give away.

Heart to heart, you will make a difference in 2008.

"ARISE, SHINE, for your light has come,
and the glory of the LORD rises upon you.

See, darkness covers the earth
and thick darkness is over the peoples,
but the LORD rises upon you
and his glory appears over you."

Isaiah 60:1-2 NIV

December 24, 2007

"For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord."
Luke 2:11 KJV

"This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son.
And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed;
by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life.
John 3:16 (The Message)

What more can I say?

God bless you all with a Christmas enriched by those you love, surrounded by His love.

December 17, 2007

"He has also set eternity in the hearts of men;

yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end."

Ecclesiastes 3:11 NIV

In Christmas, God crossed over from eternity into time

that we could find the way to cross from time into eternity.

May Jesus fill you with solid rock hope - for "Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." (Hebrews 11:5 NIV) May your heart be sure of receiving the deep things you long for, especially for all of you sorely missing those who have crossed over into eternity already before you. I know Christmas time can make their absence all the more piercing. While we celebrate Christmas yet here on earth, may your heart see your loved ones having the time of their life at the King's birthday celebration in heaven. Know that they are happy. You can be sure their conversations are full of joy as they anticipate the great fanfare when we all join them there as well. Let your confidence in that day fill the absence in your heart with warm, sure hope. Amen. Yes, amen.

December 10, 2007

"Praise the LORD! How good it is to sing praises to our God!
He heals the brokenhearted, binding up their wounds.
He covers the heavens with clouds, provides rain for the earth, and makes the green grass grow in mountain pastures.
He feeds the wild animals, and the young ravens cry to him for food.
He sends the snow like white wool; he scatters frost upon the ground like ashes.
Then, at his command, it all melts. He sends his winds, and the ice thaws."
Psalm 147:1,3,8,9,16,18 NLT

"I lift you high in praise, my God, O my King! I'll bless you every day, and keep it up from now to eternity.
God is all mercy and grace - not quick to anger, is rich in love.
Creation and creatures applaud you, God;
God gives a hand to those down on their luck, gives a fresh start to those ready to quit.
All eyes are on you, expectant; you give them their meals on time.
Generous to a fault, you lavish your favor on all creatures.
Everything God does is right - the trademark on all his works is love."
Psalm 145:1,2,8,10,14-17 (The Message)

Even the wild look to Him, in the dead of winter, no less. All creation applauds His faithfulness. Can humankind do no less?

December 3, 2007

"How precious are your thoughts about me, O God!
I can't even count them;
they outnumber the grains of sand!"
Psalm 139:17, 18 NLT

O Lord, quiet my soul that I may hear the musings of Your heart toward me. Your precious thoughts bring life to my soul. Let me even hear Your thoughts when I disappoint You. Lead me in the way, which brings only joy to You and abundant life to me. Amen.

November 25, 2007
“Okay Lord, what would you like for this week's devotional?” I asked, randomly thumbing through my Bible last night. Passing through the Psalms, my attention fell to a portion of Psalm 94 marked with a date: 11/25/97 – exactly ten years ago today.

As life-giving as the whole of God's Word becomes for His people, there are times when the Holy Spirit seems to lift a certain portion off the page, apply it specifically to our personal circumstances and forever weave an intimate application deeply into our hearts. Here is my portion of Psalm 94:

"Unless the LORD had given me help, I would soon have dwelt in the silence of death.
When I said, "My foot is slipping," your love, O LORD, supported me.
When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul."
Psalm 94:17-19 NIV

Ten years ago, seven days prior to 11/25/97, a tractor accident abruptly stole away my husband, my soul mate for more than two decades. I was left with two bewildered, broken-hearted teenagers and the overwhelming challenge of pulling together the shattered pieces of our lives, our hopes and even and especially our faith.

Despair can rage utterly merciless. I remember the frightening sensation of being thrust toward a deep, deep pit that I would never be able to return from once I went over the edge. I remember how Jesus caught my hand each time the ominous abyss threatened to suck me in and swallow me up.

How did He catch me? He caught me by the thoughtful actions of loving people. He caught me by whispering tender words of love and reassurance. He placed His own two hands around my shattered heart when I lifted its brokenness in expectation of His promise to heal. The tempest continued to ebb and flow, still my Savior never loosened His grip.

He set my feet upon His Rock and breathed new life into my heart. He gave me reason to hope. He gave me reason to continue.

"It is good to praise the LORD and make music to your name, O Most High,
to proclaim your love in the morning and your faithfulness at night "
Psalm 92:1-2 NIV

November 19 , 2007

"I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. I keep asking that the ...glorious Father may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.

I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.

That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead."

Ephesians 1:16-20 NIV

"For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.

And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints,

to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,

and to know his love that surpasses knowledge -

that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen."

Ephesians 3:14-21 NIV

So much to be thankful for... Think of it. God makes power "like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead" available to you and me.

Be blessed this week - with a thankful and believing yet persistent heart. Let our prayers not settle for less than all the life Christ lived for, died for and rose again for us and those we love to receive.

November 12 , 2007

"How happy is the man who does not follow the advice of the wicked.

or take the path of sinners,

or join a group of mockers!

Instead, his delight is in the Lord's instruction,

and he meditates on it day and night.

He is like a tree planted beside streams of water

that bears its fruit in season

and whose leaf does not wither.

Whatever he does prospers."

                                                                                                  Psalm 1:1-3 HCSB

November 5 , 2007

"He is here:

the One who forms the mountains,

creates the wind,

and reveals His thoughts to man,

the One who makes the dawn out of darkness

and strides on the heights of the earth.

Yahweh, the God of Hosts, is His name."

Amos 4:13 HCSB

The Lord God Almighty, Maker of Heaven and Earth, Ancient of Days, Alpha and Omega, King of kings and Lord of lords...

...majesty...glory...power beyond comprehension...

...yet such a One reveals His thoughts to man.

The Bible shares that "The Lord spoke with Moses face to face, just as a man speaks with his friend." (Exodus 33:11 HCSB) Yet such an honor is no longer only reserved for certain prophets and leaders as in the days of the Old Testament. In the New Testament, at the time of Jesus' death on the cross there was a mighty earthquake and the veil in the Temple separating the presence of God from mankind tore in two, from top to bottom (Matthew 27:51). Interesting how the scripture notes from top to bottom. God removed the separation - between Him and us.

Jesus told His disciples in John 15:15 (NIV) "I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you."

The God of Heaven and earth reveals His thoughts to ordinary people. He calls those who will draw close to know Him "friend". I never get over the wonder of it all, yet I live, no I thrive, in the astounding truth and consequence of such benevolence.

October 29, 2007

"In the past all of us lived...trying to please our sinful selves and doing all the things our bodies and minds wanted. We should have suffered God's anger because of the way we were. We were the same as all other people.

But God's mercy is great, and he loved us very much.

Though we were spiritually dead because of the things we did against God, he gave us new life with Christ. You have been saved by God's grace.

And he raised us up with Christ and gave us a seat with him in the heavens. He did this for those in Christ Jesus so that for all future time he could show the very great riches of his grace by being kind to us in Christ Jesus.

I mean that you have been saved by grace through believing. You did not save yourselves; it was a gift from God.

It was not the result of your own efforts, so you cannot brag about it.

God has made us what we are.

In Christ Jesus, God made us to do good works, which God planned in advance for us to live our lives doing." Ephesians 2:3-10 NCV

October 22 , 2007

"LORD, you have poured out amazing blessings on your land! You have restored the fortunes of Israel.

You have forgiven the guilt of your people, yes, you have covered all their sins...

Won't you revive us again, so your people can rejoice in you? Show us your unfailing love, O LORD, and grant us your salvation.

I listened carefully to what God the LORD is saying, for he speaks peace to his people, his faithful ones. But let them not return to their foolish ways. Surely his salvation is near to those who honor him; our land will be filled with his glory.

Unfailing love and truth have met together. Righteousness and peace have kissed! Truth springs up from the earth, and righteousness smiles down from heaven.

Yes, the LORD pours down his blessings.
Our land will yield its bountiful crops."
                                  Psalm 85:1-2, 6-12 (NLT)

"For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless."
                                               Psalm 84:11 NIV

"...find out what pleases the Lord."
                                           Ephesians 5:10 NIV

"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. "
                                             Galatians 6:9 NIV

October 15, 2007

"Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest." Mark 6:31 NIV

Some may call it "daily devotions" or others "quiet time" – both terms mean setting time apart to develop a relationship with God.

As years go by, the theme of cultivating a deeper connection with God continues to resurface throughout my life at increasing intervals: what exactly that means, or how to improve on embracing it, or understanding its paramount importance. At every turn, I feel God bidding us all into a deeper awareness and understanding of Him – and certainly I'm not alone in feeling the increasing potency of this calling.

Granted, God has been wooing me to come close to Him since the first day I invited Him into my life (and hence way back then I found Him to be an intimacy-loving God). Still, a decade later He had to graciously show me how my zeal for serving Him within the church had actually become an idol. It broke my heart to feel His pain when He finally got me away and asked me, "Isn't it enough for you just to be with me?" And still, nearly two decades after that realization, He must continually rescue me from my anxious ways. (If you haven't already, I invite you to read my story sometime of yet another rescue on May 20, 2007, linked here.)

What God is showing me (and apparently many others whose teaching I'm encountering of late) is that it's not by gaining knowledge from His Word, it's not by doing works of service (though both those activities can have a positive effect on my character and on others for His purposes), but it is by drawing close to Him, simply resting in His presence, soaking in His amazing love while hearing astounding whispers of His heart – it is in those moments when the Almighty most affects my heart, my life and all that's important to me in my world.

My heart has heard you say, "Come talk with me." And my heart responds, "Lord, I am coming." Psalm 27:7-8 (NLT)

October 8, 2007 This tranquil sanctuary sets beside a retirement facility in eastern Massachusetts.

"Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you.
I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you."
Isaiah 46:4 (NIV)

Turn your heart's ear to this verse in Isaiah and listen. Listen close. Do you hear the Father's heart? The Father's plea?
It's as if He needs to convince us of something our hearts can't quite take in:

Hey, I'm the One who made you. I've been here all along. I know everything about you. I know, better than anyone else, how to carry you through every challenge you face. I am better than any vice at seeing you through. I long to care for you. Will you let me? Will you believe me?

He's there for you. Always has been.
Always will be.
You have His Sacred Word.

October 1, 2007

"The people should not think that small beginnings are unimportant." Zechariah 4:10 NCV

We’re heading back for our annual visit to New England. I love the abundant history there – a country rich in divine adventure. I love hearing the echoes of faith in centuries gone by. I listen not for prideful religion (those self-righteous tones that screech in the ears). I listen for relationship – the melodies of a humble heart’s dependency, wonder and expectancy in a God who has brought them where they stand and continues to lead them on.

A few years ago we came upon an engaging quote by Governor William Bradford in Plymouth, Massachusetts. (Bradford came to America on the Mayflower in 1620 and was elected as the leader of the community at Plymouth thirty times.) His words are inscribed in the granite Monument to the Forefathers built in 1853:

“Thus out of small beginnings greater things have been produced by His hand that made all things of nothing and gives being to all things that are; and as one small candle may light a thousand, so the light here kindled hath shone unto many.
Yea in some sort to our whole nation: let the glorious name of Jehovah have all the praise.”

Within this photograph of what used to be a cooperage in eastern Massachusetts I also see evidence of challenge, hard work and small beginnings. Perhaps if I dig around in the history of that place, I may find some treasures of faith there as well.

September 24 , 2007

We've been blessed with a temperate September. Our dahlias are flourishing as you can see in these pictures taken only a couple mornings ago. Yet, I know, winter is inevitable. Soon the freezing nights and icy rains will whither away the colors of summer. Yet throughout every dark day the promise of spring rests just below the surface.
"I know what I am doing. I have it all planned out - plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for."
Jeremiah 29:11 (The Message)

"The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him... "
Lamentations 3:25 (NIV)

"Those who look to Him are radiant...." Psalm 34:5 (NIV)

"...he rekindles burned out lives with fresh hope..."
1 Samuel 2:8 (The Message)

"Your words have put stumbling people on their feet, put fresh hope in people about to collapse."
Job 4:4 (The Message)

"... those who hope in me will not be disappointed."
Isaiah 49:23 (NIV)

Who would not love Him?
Who would not hope in Him?

September 17, 2007

“As the deer pants for streams of water, so I long for you, O God.
I thirst for God, the living God. When can I come and stand before him?

[Ah, these relentless hunger pains for God...]

… My heart is breaking as I remember how it used to be:
I walked among the crowds of worshipers... to the house of God,
singing for joy and giving thanks. It was the sound of a great celebration!

[...hunger to not only find Him privately, but to find Him together with His people...]

… Through each day the LORD pours his unfailing love upon me,
and through each night I sing his songs, praying to God who gives me life …

[...morning to evening my heart overflows with hope that resides in Him...]

... Why am I discouraged? Why so sad?
I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again, my Savior and my God!”

Psalms 42:1,2,4,8,10,11 (NLT)
[my own interjections in brackets]

Jesus, forever will I praise You. Forever will I look for You and long for You. “...until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” Eph. 4:13 (NIV)
Oh Lord, do not delay - bring Your church into unity and maturity! (Oh Church, imagine us all actually walking in the whole measure of the fullness of Christ! What a glorious day that will be!) Let this perpetual hunger not discourage, but serve as a reminder to continue praying, and believing! You are the unstoppable Savior of the world! And You will have Your way in us - in spite of ourselves. Amen.

September 10, 2007

(This week's devotional is dedicated to A.K.A., as well as to each one of you who desire to be rescued.)
"[God caught me]—reached all the way from sky to sea;

he pulled me out of that ocean of hate, that enemy chaos, the void in which I was drowning.

They hit me when I was down, but GOD stuck by me.

He stood me up on a wide-open field; I stood there saved—surprised to be loved!

GOD made my life complete when I placed all the pieces before him.

When I cleaned up my act, he gave me a fresh start.

Indeed, I've kept alert to GOD's ways; I haven't taken God for granted. Every day I review the ways he works, I try not to miss a trick.

I feel put back together, and I'm watching my step.

GOD rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes."

2 Sam 22:17- 25 (The Message)

September 4 , 2007
This photo shows one glorious moment in yesterday's sunrise over our campsite in the Ochoco Mountains.

I began my relationship with Jesus Christ 28 years ago, yet everyday I remain in awe of the difference His light has made in my life. Before His love broke through I didn't even realize how dark the world was, my heart was, without Him. Yet in one glorious moment of simple surrender He tore the veil of ignorance and from that moment His light began flooding into every part of my world, my being.

"[Jesus Christ is] the one light you have in a dark time as you wait for daybreak
and the rising of the Morning Star in your hearts." 1 Peter 1:19 (The Message)

August 27, 2007

Who can know what the new day will bring? It's a wild world. Uncertainty can be intimidating. In fact, unknown terrors could freeze me in my tracks.
Lions and tigers and bears! Oh my!

Yet confidence and peace reside in giving my all, day by day, to the only One who knows what lies around the next bend - and in my determination to not take a step without Him.

"I have set the LORD always before me. Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken." Psalm 16:8 (NIV)

First, I must fix my eyes on Jesus. Next, I must give God Lordship over my very heart, and also over my every step. Then I can chart my course to what seems best, ultimately trusting that He has the final say.

"In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps." Proverbs 16:9 (NIV)

Listen to God's incredible heart:

"But I'll take the hand of those who don't know the way, who can't see where they're going. I'll be a personal guide to them, directing them through unknown country. I'll be right there to show them what roads to take, make sure they don't fall into the ditch. These are the things I'll be doing for them - sticking with them, not leaving them for a minute."
Isaiah 42:16 (The Message)

Father, I take Your hand. Walk with me. Be LORD of my every step. You are my courage. You are my strength. You are my peace. How amazing is Your intimate, loving care. Thank You. Amen.

Others may see you walking alone, yet you know He is right there beside you.

Yes, listen to His heart. Keep hold of His hand. And walk.

August 20, 2007

I discovered these wildflowers in the high desert areas of Central Oregon near the tail-end of the typical hot and dry summer. The vibrancy and vitality of wildflowers always amaze me - especially the harsher the climate. Their survival in such extreme and even barren surroundings seems to make them all the more stunning.

"In a desert land he found him,
in a barren and howling waste.
He shielded him and cared for him;
he guarded him as the apple of his eye..."
Deuteronomy 32:10 (NIV)

"Keep me as the apple of your eye;
hide me in the shadow of your wings"
Psalm 17:8 (NIV)

August 13, 2007
As long as the world as we know it turns on its axis, darkness is inevitable.

Time began, sin entered the world, and freedom of choice has wrecked havoc upon the earth. Corruption… selfishness… accidents… disease… death… Such unpredictable darkness can threaten our hearts and lives at any turn.

Jesus encourages us in John 16:33 “I’ve told you all this so that trusting me, you will be unshakable and assured, deeply at peace. In this godless world you will continue to experience difficulties. But take heart! I’ve conquered the world.” (The Message)

No matter what the day has brought me, no matter the impending darkness, I can lift my eyes and see beauty and hope. Every sunset reminds me that there is something beyond now, beyond me, something yet beautiful, above it all.

Yes, “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” Psalm 19:1 (NIV) – and the way God paints the skies reminds me He is near. He is there at the end. He is there at the beginning.

God keeps His promises. As I lift my soul to His embrace, I know for certain, the sun will rise again. Taking His hand I can face every darkness, unshakable and assured, deeply at peace.

Thank you, Jesus.

August 6 , 2007

Frog On A Cross

Patches of snow remained in the shadows when we spotted this tree frog while exploring a Cascade Mountain back road one sunny day in May. Only a month or two prior this now budding world slept below multiple blankets of snow and ice.

Amazing, the life that springs forth following a merciless winter.

"He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and the mire.
He set my feet upon a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand."
Psalm 40:2 (NIV)

"The LORD raises the poor up from the dust,
and He lifts the needy from the ashes.
He lets the poor sit with princes
and receive a throne of honor."
1 Samuel 2:8 NCV

July 30, 2007

"Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it" Song of Solomon 8:7 KJV

"And as a bridegroom is happy in his bride, so your God is happy with you." Isaiah 62:5 (The Message)

July 23, 2007

Life can demand so much. Sometimes there is just not enough time for everything my heart is trying to catch up on.

The clock ticks on, and the work does not wait for my heart. Regardless of my soul’s acclimation, I must be faithful to the task, carry the burden and fly. Other lives depend on me.

Caught in the flow of events, I remember God remains Lord of it all. I have declared Him Lord, and thus, He is.

Regardless of the hustle-bustle, regardless of the demands and even opposition, regardless of the doubts, fears and evaluations of critics, God is already there. God is in the flow with me.

In such understanding resides amazing grace, strength and peace.

     “Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything
     in the One who makes me who I am.” Philippians 4:13 (The Message)

In other words...

     “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
                                                                      Philippians 4:13 NKJV

July 16, 2007

"Don't be afraid,
because I have saved you.
I have called you by name,
you are mine.
When you walk
through the fire,
you will not be burned.
Neither will the flames
hurt you."
Isaiah 43:1-2 NCV

Suddenly we can find ourselves before a fire. Often we have no choice, but to go through it.
Nevertheless, oh heart, take courage. When we look for our Savior, He is already there waiting for us.

As the fire rages, Oh Lord, keep me in the cool and the calm of your Spirit.

(See Daniel 3:17-27)

July 9, 2007

"Love each other deeply, because love will cause many sins to be forgiven." 1 Peter 4:8 NCV

Ah, the gift of His love – and the gift of His love in us.

How glorious to feel the warmth of unmerited love, a love we know does not, can not, originate in our own selves.
It's irrational. It's too deep, too pure.

We enjoy the warmth of that life-giving love when we find ourselves loving someone who is hard to love.
That's when I realize, “Wow, He really does live in me.”

Mercy melts the hardened ice and life-giving waters flow.

And it changes the face of the earth. Heart by heart.

July 1, 2007        ~        Happy 4th of July!

"God is working in you to help you...
But you are living
with crooked and mean people
all around you...
... among whom you
shine like stars
in the dark world."
Philippians 2:13, 15 NCV

"pray for those
who are cruel to you"
Luke 6:28 NCV

"A gentle answer
will calm a person's anger,
but an unkind answer
will cause more anger."
Proverbs 15:1 NCV

You're always planting seeds
regardless of how small they seem to you.
Your light is making a difference.

“If anyone belongs to Christ, there is a new creation…” 2 Corinthians 5:17 NCV

June 24, 2007

Nothing against caterpillars. Caterpillars can be quite cute and even charming, wiggling their way about the earth. However, they are known for having a voracious appetite, biting and chewing, consuming almost everything in their path to survive. Not to mention that their limitation to crawling about on the ground makes them an easy target.

It just puzzles me why some seem content to remain a caterpillar.

Perhaps they don’t even know about the wings their Creator designed for them.

Or maybe they’ve believed a lie: God doesn't really give wings, He gives religion – a huge ball and chain of endless, lifeless, fun-less do’s and don’t's (that is, if there even truly is a God).

Or perhaps they do not go to God for wings because they think that the same God who offers wings is also to blame for their pain.
Watching a caterpillar just curl up and hide away inside a hardening chrysalis and then determine to stay there proves even more heart-wrenching.

Naivety, indifference or pain – all keep a caterpillar bound to the ground. Continually faced with this complacent caterpillar enigma, a line from an old Keith Green song(1) often glides through my mind: “How can they feel so at home down here, when there's so much more up above?”

But caterpillars don't even know what they're missing. They've never experienced wings. Perhaps they're afraid of heights.

Yet God appeals to his people Israel while they are held captive in Babylon, “‘…I know what I am planning for you,' says the Lord. ‘I have good plans for you, not plans to hurt you. I will give you hope and a good future.” (Jeremiah 29:11 NCV)

Hope and a good future. The wings God offers lift us to a viewpoint that spans beyond the confinement and perils of the ground.

You know, it's not our world that changes when we get our wings from Christ (though His wings surely help us to rise above it)...

…it's our perspective.
1 “How Can They Live Without Jesus?” by Keith Green ©BMG Music Publisher Group

June 16, 2007

"The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth...From one man he made every nation of men, that they would inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us." Acts 17:24, 26-27 (NIV)

Think about that – God determined the times set for each person and the exact places where they should live. Some of us are born into good times, good places, bad times or bad places. And then it seems our lives often wander precariously between places of joy and places of sorrow.

However, our circumstances do not in themselves represent God's love for us. Good or bad, the intent of these places emerge from a hope that they may bring us to a common specific place.

So why did God place you where you are? Read the last sentence above in Acts 17 again. God did this so that you would seek Him, and perhaps reach out for Him, and find Him. God determined this set time and exact place for you in hopes that you will come, at some point in your life, to the place of an open heart.

As far as your Creator is concerned, the most important place that you could ever come to in your entire life is that place where you open your heart to receive Him, to receive His love and the abundant new life that comes with walking with Him, no matter where you are.

Consider the people who have demonstrated God's love for you in small or large ways. Consider the people who quite likely have invested prayers on your behalf. Consider the people who were there to see you through. God strategically placed those people into the path of your circumstances to testify to the truth about something He has forever desired for you to know – that He is not far from you.

Is it not true, that once we realize the nearness of God, and reach out for Him and find Him, we yearn for everyone we love to find Him too?

Thus, consider the lives He has strategically placed you into, the lives into which you have been destined to make an eternal impact.
"The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance." Psalm 16:6 (NIV)

June 9, 2007

I can be dreadfully near-sighted – my vision grossly refracted by the here and now – or at other times excessively far-sighted and totally miss the significance of something right in front of me – truly a Mr. Magoo within the scope of eternity.

Jesus explained to his disciples that not even a sparrow dies without our Heavenly Father knowing about it (Matthew 10:29). Then He expounded on the depth of God's loving focus toward us – why, He even knows the number of hairs on our head (Matthew 10:30)! Our Savior clarified the degree of God's attention to then validate the following bottom line:
“So don't be afraid” (Matthew 10:31 NCV).

God not only sees the big picture, encompassing the entire cosmos for all eternity, but He also sees every microscopic detail. He understands how even the most minuscule factor (such as a germ or cancer cell) can influence a mammoth, eternal outcome.

"God even knows how many hairs are on your head."
Matthew 10:30 NCV

"And I pray that you...will have the power to understand the greatness of Christ's love -
how wide and how long and how high and how deep that love is."

Ephesians 3:18 NCV

"We know that in everything God works for the good of those who love him."
Romans 8:28 NCV

"...God's perfect love drives out fear.."
1 John 4:18 NCV
The Lord Jesus Christ loves us intricately and infinitely beyond our comprehension (Matthew 10:30 and Ephesians 3:18). And He is able to work all things for our good when we love Him back (Romans 8:28). Now, that's the kind of perfect love that “drives out fear” (1 John 4:18) – the perfect prescription I need to improve my vision.

June 1 , 2007

"You will restore me to life again and lift me up from the depths of the earth." Psalms 71:20 NLT

Sometimes the cold or the heat of the season sucks the life right out of us.

Yet the Lord Jesus Christ is able to lift us in the wind of His resurrection power...

...plant us in the rich soil of His love...

...and renew us in His promise of new beginnings.

That is Who He is.

That is what He does.

Season to season.

Life after life after life.

"The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as He raised Christ from the dead, He will give life to your mortal body by this same Spirit living in you." Romans 8:11 (NLT)

Get to know the author/artist of this blog a little better by reading a true story about how
God saved my life

May 20, 2007.
(just click in this box to open story)

“And they overcame him (the enemy) by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony...”

Revelation 12:11(KJV)

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Scripture quotations marked (NIV) are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. NIV®. Copyright©1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

The Message
by Eugene H. Peterson, copyright (c) 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group. All rights reserved.

Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible , New Living Translation, copyright © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton , Illinois 60189 . All rights reserved.

Scripture quotations marked “NCV™” are taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Scripture quotations marked "NKJV™" are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Scripture quotations marked HCSB are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Holman CSB®, and HCSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.

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