Life is hard sometimes
My life seems like series of near misses (with many attempts that came nowhere near going in). It makes me feel guilty for not walking in triumph with Jesus. I clunk with shame way more than I swoosh with “well done.” How good it is that Jesus loves me because God is love, not because I am lovely.
Bouncing water like bouncing prayers
Sometimes my prayers feel like this whitewater––my mind bouncing from one thing to another. Very small prayers that don’t go very high. Fortunately, prayer is not about my ability, but upon God’s.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Rejoicing in this day
It is God’s grace that turns this day into a special day with eternal purpose. All that is needed is God’s grace upon grace. His grace that forgives and makes me right, followed by grace to give me strength to do His will. At the start of each day I need to let these verse wash over me.
For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace. John 1:16
And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed; 2 Corinthians 9:6-8
Rejoice for this is the day that the LORD has made and I will rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24
The light of life in dark places
Thick wildfire smoke is not usually conducive to landscape photography. But God is so surprising, He can make an ash filled day into a vision of glory. Like this scene of an orange sun peaking through the aspen. When I took the photo I couldn’t help but give thanks, for I saw God in the dust of that dark dreary day.
About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. Acts 16:25
That same evening on the news, there appeared a clip of people singing gospel music in a Texas evacuation center. Their praise carried a clear vision of God’s glory in the midst of the devastation from Hurricane Harvey, even the news announcer smiled and said “Amen.”
Where ever you find yourself don’t forget to look for Immanuel (God is with us), He is wanting to surprise you.
So far, yet so close
In a National Geographic story it stated that somewhere in the universe a star explodes into a supernova every second. It also mentioned that if a star exploded anywhere near us (<15 light years away) we would be wiped out by the blast. That made me ponder just how big the universe is, and how small our planet is in comparison. Personally I would not be able to locate my own solar system within our galaxy (one star among 100-150 billion), or even pick out the Milky Way from among all the millions of galaxies that are out there (over 125 billion from observation by Hubble space telescope). With this vastness of the universe how is God, who is over all, even concerned about me? I exist for such a short time, one of over 7.5 billion people who populate this insignificant planet coursing around an insignificant star tucked away in one of billions of galaxies. How do I know that the creator of all this even cares? It comes down to one word, Jesus. I do not fathom His love for me, or how He even knows me, but because Jesus the creator of the universe came and died for me, this says God loves me and will not lose me in the vastness of all His stars. Even the hairs on my head are numbered. What an amazing statement of God’s concern (Matthew 10:30). Oh how wide and deep and beyond my imagination is the love of God for me in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 3:18).
Sunrise through smoke
After two weeks of gray thick smoke, this morning held blue skies, clouds, and distant peaks in full splendor. Each breath felt clean and wonderful. It brought to mind the joy we’ll have on that day when we enter our Lord’s kingdom. The smoky haze of this fallen world will be blown away, and for the first time we will see clearly––Jesus in all his glory. I think the beauty of that morning will truly be off the scale, and my photos do not do even come close to capturing the glory to be revealed.
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18
If you’re lungs are burning from the smoke of this world remember:
I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. Romans 8:18
The glory of sunrise
A heavenly dream
We all dream,
Life is full of dreams.
Our dreams are sometimes good, and sometimes nightmares.
Sometimes dreams come true…sometimes not.
But all our dreams will fade and get old with us.
I wonder if God dreams?
I bet his dreams are good.
Good beyond our wildest dreams,
And His dream will never end.
For in Jesus we are not the dreamer, but the dream.
The heights of heaven
I can approach the throne of God in His grace and be confident I will find mercy and help. (Hebrews 4:16)
I can leave my past behind and know that it does not cling to me.
Life is be pure again.
It is not mine to lose or spoil, I can only receive it, and it is a new gift every morning.
This amazing grace comes with God’s power to live for Him,
And the knowledge that He will never leave me nor forsake me.
I do not have to worry about tomorrow for the end of my story has been written.
I can breathe in the peace of God.
I can rest in the knowledge that God will cause all things to work out for good when I walk in His love. (Romans 8: 28)
When I get lost, He finds me and restores my soul.
What Jesus has started in me will be carried onto completion by His grace and power not mine. (James 1: 6)
The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love. (Psalm 145:8)
Give thanks to the Lord for He is good and His love endures forever. (Psalm 106:1)
On the edge with Mountain Penstemon
These Mountain Penstemon cling to a steep edge along the Icicle Creek, living life in a precarious place. Sometimes my life feels like these wildflowers––I am just barely hanging on. Psalm 33 is given to us for such times.
A horse is a vain hope for deliverance;
despite all its great strength it cannot save.
But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him,
on those whose hope is in his unfailing love, Psalm 33:17-18
Great wealth cannot save.
Great intelligence cannot save.
Great beauty cannot save.
Great power cannot save.
Instead put your hope in Jesus, the unfailing love of God, whose sacrifice brings us unassailable deliverance from our worst fears.
So large it is hard to comprehend
Some things are hard to explain even seeing a picture does not fully reveal the enormity of what you see. The Grand Canyon is one of the most photographed places in the world but no words can describe, or picture convey the enormity and grandeur of that place. You have to experience it for yourself, even then it is more than the mind can wrap around. This is also how it is with John 3:16
I will never fully comprehend the height, width, or depth of God’s love. But, when God blessed me with children, I read John 3:16 with new insight. I looked at my child and cried at what God allowed to happen to Jesus because of His love for me.
To hear ugly words used against your child hurts.
To see your child keep quiet in the face of accusations is hard.
To see your child rejected, causes deep pain.
To see your child in sorrow brings terrible heartache.
The thought of your child suffering is unbearable.
But to stand back and allow your child to die is grief beyond compare.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son. John 3:16