Recognizing the Tree by Its Fruit

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An apple from an apple tree

Lest we become confused…

“No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thorn bushes, or grapes from briers. The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.” Luke 6:43-45

My Hope

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Glorious View

Hope gives us life today because it assures us of God’s goodness for our tomorrows.

We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, Hebrew 6:19

Our hope is this: Jesus Christ in us the hope of glory (Col. 1:27).

What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Romans 8:31-32

Seeing the Forest through the Trees

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Winter’s frosting

Sometimes at church I can’t see the forest (worship of God) for the trees (my mistakes). I feel and act like I am in the old covenant. In the Old Testament, worship had to be done perfect, or the sacrifice was worthless.

Sunday we gathered and the mistakes began to mount. A worship song was sung too high for me and I could not sing without squeaking. I had trouble handling the communion elements (I am clumsy with a little tremor). Someone’s cell phone buzzed. My mind frequently drifted, but Jesus, the New Covenant sacrifice, covered all the short comings, elevating all of us to perfection in worship allowing the Holy Spirit to move in a mighty way.

And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.” Luke 3:22

The worship was made perfect and acceptable to God, for in Jesus we are made holy and pleasing.

Sometimes

Icicle Ridge winter

Sometimes mountains hide

In everything I should say thank you to God.
But sometimes I slip and say, “Why did you let this happen?”

I can praise Jesus for all He has done for me.
But sometimes I get confused and say, “Why did You do this to me?”

He gives me everything,
But sometimes I get upset over nothing.

One day after all is said and done, I will bow and say,
“The LORD is good, His Love reaches to the heavens, His faithfulness to the skies.” (Psalm 36:5-6)

But my sometimes will be forgiven, forgotten, and be no more.

A Christmas Gift

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Thank You, Lord

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:17

With God there is no “bait and switch,” no hidden purpose or ulterior motive to make me worry about getting anything malicious. All His actions toward me are based on His love for me. A love I cannot diminish or earn. Even when evil twist me into a knot I know that nothing can come between me, and God’s love in Jesus (Romans 8:38-39). What a good and perfect gift.

We wish you a…

Merry Christmas
Take time out this Christmas to remind yourself of all the wonderful gifts you have been given:

Grace
In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.   Ephesians 1:7-8

Peace
For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of his government and peace
there will be no end. Isaiah 9:6-7

Joy
Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls. 1 Peter 1:8-9

God with us
All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”—which means, “God with us.” Matthew 1:22-23

Love
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:37-39

And many more amazing gifts to numerous to mention:
Forgiveness
Righteousness
Goodness
Hope
Purpose
Life

Merry Christmas

Fog Along the Way

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Clouds rolling over the Blue Ridge Mountains.

There were times that the fog became so thick you could barely see the road, let alone knowing which way to go.

We have all had times when we wished we had taken a different direction. Looking back we can see how a right choice would have been so much better, but we just could not see far enough ahead.

Blessed are they whose ways are blameless,
who walk according to the law of the Lord.
Blessed are they who keep his statutes
and seek him with all their heart.
They do nothing wrong;
they walk in his ways. Psalm 119:1-3

God is all about helping us choose the right direction. We just have to ask.

But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. John 16:13

What we receive is not only help in making the right choices going forward, but forgiveness for all our past wrong choices.

A Full Day

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The start of a new day

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.  John 10:10

This morning I come before God and ask for His help to live this day to the full.

“Lord, don’t let the thief steal it with anger, laziness, or in the pursuit of worthless things. Send Your Holy Spirit to overcome my weakness and transform this day to one that glorifies You––the fullness of life.”

Along the Road Home

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In case you drove by and did not stop to admire.

What a wonderful Thanksgiving prayer:

The Lord is my shepherd. He gives me everything I need.
He lets me lie down in fields of green grass.
He leads me beside quiet waters.
He gives me new strength.
He guides me in the right paths
for the honor of his name.
Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will not be afraid.
You are with me.
Your shepherd’s rod and staff
comfort me.
You prepare a feast for me
right in front of my enemies.
You pour oil on my head.
My cup runs over.
I am sure that your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life.
And I will live in the house of the Lord
forever. Psalm 23 NIRV

God has given us this prayer because He wants us to pray it, so He can fulfill it in our lives. Lord I fall at Your feet in thanksgiving.