Be Thou My Vision

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A break in the clouds

“Vision is the art of seeing things invisible”
Jonathan Swift – Thoughts On Various Subjects

I often think the scenes, I try to capture and preserve in photos, are little bits of the great beauty that Jesus pours out upon His creation. Whether anyone notices is not relevant to beauties existence, it is there just because God is good. Scene upon scene in unending splendor speaks of the glory of God. This is also true in my life; I have ongoing grace lavished upon me by God. Sometimes I have the eyes to see it, and thank Him, but often I am too preoccupied and it goes unnoticed. Like the beauty in nature, grace is not given only where it will be appreciated, it is freely poured out in abundance because that is the nature of God.

You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
forever. (Psalm 23 :5-6)

I continually have to remind myself to pray for eyes to see, ears to hear, and wisdom to comprehend all that Jesus is doing. Then with a heart of gratitude I can see, hear and give thanks.

The Wonder of Grace

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The Grace of Winter White

The Wonderful Grace of Jesus

For the sin of this one man, Adam, caused death to rule over many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of righteousness, for all who receive it will live in triumph over sin and death through this one man, Jesus Christ. Romans 5:17

The best and the greatest of this world cannot replace it.
The worst and most painful cannot spoil it.
The wonderful grace of Jesus.

There is no imagined splendor that can outshine it.
There is no ugliness that can diminish it.
The beautiful grace of Jesus.

There is no stronghold it cannot topple.
There is no past it cannot overcome.
The redeeming grace of Jesus.

There is no intelligence that can understand it.
The smallest child can receive it.
The all-encompassing grace of Jesus.

There is no life in living without it.
There is no death in life with it.
The joyous grace of Jesus.

There is no day that can be lived without it.
There is no day that will outlive it.
the enduring grace of Jesus.

A bruised reed he will not break,
And a smoldering wick he will not snuff out. (Isaiah 42:3)
The loving grace of Jesus.

The grace of Jesus gives redemption and purpose for my yesterdays.
The grace of Jesus gives me help and direction for today.
The grace of Jesus gives me hope for tomorrow.

And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 2 Corinthians 9:8

Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:8-10 NLT

Grace takes the all the things we suffer—the self inflicted, as well as what has been inflicted upon us, and redeems it for His glory through His grace.

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:8-10

I do not thank God for my past mistakes and failures; I thank Him for His grace that frees me from them, and works to redeem the harm I have caused.

O the wonder of God’s grace.

Making the Desolate Beautiful

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My desert His palette

What makes this day?
A day with work and toil,
A day with struggle and worry,
A day with grief and sadness,

Jesus makes this day filled with His love.
He makes it a day of salvation from my troubles,
A day of deliverance from my foes,
A day where past failure is forgiven,
A day where hope can flourish,
A day with purpose and meaning,
A day of good things for me to do,
A day of guidance to His pasture,
A day of communion with God,
A day of feasting in His presence,
A day of giving thanks for His unfailing love,
Thank You Lord for making this day for me.

A reminder for your desert days from Psalm 107

Grace Is Calling

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Oh, what a beautiful morning.

Each new day has beauty woven into it by the Creator. It is not fleeting or only for a select few, but wonderful gift given to all those who will partake. The Grace of God is like that on a spiritual level. A gift of forgiveness, joy, and renewed beauty, taking us beyond ourselves into the everlasting. One day those who receive it will look and go “Oh!”

Be Thou My Vision

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Glorious waves of grace

“Vision is the art of seeing things invisible”
Jonathan Swift – Thoughts On Various Subjects

I often think the scenes I try to capture and preserve in photos are little bits of the great beauty that Jesus splashes across His creation. Whether anyone notices is not relevant to beauties existence, it just is because God is good. Wave upon wave in unending splendor speaks of the glory of God. This is also true in my life; I have ongoing grace lavished upon me––His glorious presence working for my good. Sometimes I have the eyes to see it and thank Him, but often I am too preoccupied and it goes unnoticed. Like the beauty in nature, grace is not given only where it will be appreciated, it is freely poured out in abundance because that is the nature of God. His goodness and love lavished freely upon His creation.

You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever. (Psalm 23 :5-6)

I need to continually remind myself to pray for eyes to see, ears to hear, and wisdom to comprehend all that God is doing. Then with a heart of gratitude I can truly see, hear, and give thanks.

Piercing the Darkness

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The sky proclaims the sun is coming.

“He is risen,” but what does it mean?
The death of Death for those who believe.
His Life for our life for those who receive.
The proof of His Power to break all powers for those who bow.
The Joy of heaven becomes our joy for those who confess.
He is risen is hope reborn, declared by God for those who will follow.

Every morning comes heaven’s whisper––
“He is risen.”
Can you hear His love calling to you?
Let it pierce your darkness,
Let it wash over your heart,
And rest in His grace and peace.

But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. Ephesians 2:4-7

A Lot of Work

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Hard work, but easy to photograph. Gallatin Valley, Montana

The hard work of grace.

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:8-10

Grace is easy because all I need do is trust God.
It is hard because in all my ways I have to trust Him.

Grace is easy because none of it depends on my effort.
It is hard because I can’t do anything to earn it.

Grace is easy because it’s given even though I don’t deserve it.
It is hard because it is humbling––I don’t deserve it.

Grace is easy because I know God is in control.
It is hard because I am not in control.

Grace is easy because Jesus takes all the punishment for my sins.
It is hard because I am forgiven not excused.

Grace is easy because His mercy is new every morning.
It is hard because His mercy leads to change.

Grace is easy because it is sufficient for all my sins.
It is hard because some of them I want to keep.

At the Start of Day

Rejoicing in the new day

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

Approaching the Throne of God

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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)

Saying Grace

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The beginning of another day at Icicle Gorge

And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” Luke 22:19

Before each meal I say grace, following the example of Jesus. The purpose is to give thanks for what God has provided, and ask the Lord’s blessing upon the food.

This morning as I lay in bed thinking of the coming day it struck me I could say grace over this day, following the same pattern of giving thanks and asking for God’s blessing. Saying grace over the day reminds me that God wants to bless it, to transform it into the fullness of why He has given it to me. Maybe the greatest transformation is in my perspective of the meaning and purpose of this day. After saying grace, it is no longer “just another day,” but one filled with God’s presence at every turn. The same possibility of blessing applies to the people we pray for: family, friends, and even person who cut us off in traffic.  What an awesome gift is grace, for we get to lavish it around on everything and everyone that God brings into our lives. This day will be forever changed simply by praying for God’s grace upon it, and with this simple prayer this day is elevated to eternal purpose.