Through the Gates of His Love

Icicle River

Though I don’t deserve it,
through His grace I can receive it.
Though my words can’t describe it,
through His Spirit I can walk in it.
I can make no promises about my future,
other than He will never leave me.
His love and goodness woven into my life… forever.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

“Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.” Psalm 100:4

Light and Life

New every morning

The commandments of the Lord are right, bringing joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are clear, giving insight for living. Psalm 19:12 NLT

There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death.
Proverbs 14:12 NIV

Following the LORD can seem arduous, and often it will run against what we wish to do. But eventually doing what is right in the sight of the Lord will bring joy and light to living. On the other side, going our own way may seem best at first, but though we don’t see it coming, it will lead to death and destruction.

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 NIV

If you have already messed up to where life looks hopeless, I urge you to throw yourself before the LORD for His mercy never fails.

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23 NIV

Now go and do what is right in God’s eyes.

There is a River

Whitewater on the Icicle River

There is a river,
arising from the throne of God.
Where those who plunge into its cascading current
shine forth with the glory of the Lord.
All our shame and sorrows are dashed upon the rocks.
The shadow of darkness yields before its tumult.
In its sparkle, the beauty of the Lord will be the light of life.

There is a river,
of living water that will never run dry.
The clear water brings nourishment to produce wonderful fruit:
Fruit of God’s goodness
Fruit of God’s love
Fruit of God’s peace
Fruit of God’s kindness
Fruit of God’s faithfulness
Fruit that makes all creation rejoice.
to the praise of the Lamb upon the throne

There is a river,
of holiness, righteousness, and justice.
The proud cannot stand,
the impure cannot defile.
All ungodliness is crushed in the surge
Never to be heard from again.

There is a river,
flowing with the love of God.
Streams of grace giving water,
to heal our broken lives,
to wash away our stains,
Bathing us in the hope of the glory of God.

Jesus is the river,
in which we can dance, one with the water.
Splashing in God’s joy over us,
and roaring with creation,
our joy in Him.

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, 
the holy place where the Most High dwells. Psalm 46:4

… we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Romans 5:2

Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb. Revelation 22:1

A Winter Reflection

Icicle River on a cold Winter morning

All the days ordained for me 
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.  Psalm 139:16

Truth and assurance for the past year and for this coming New Year. Coupled with “Give thanks to the LORD for He is good and His love endures forever.” My heart rejoices in God my savior and the days He has given me.

Hope gives Life to life

The hope of a new day

Hope is knowing of wonder yet to be seen.
Of rivers, of mountains covered in green.

Hope is scent of joy yet to come,
Of love in a family together as one.

Hope is courage in this covid blight.
Hope is God’s hand holding me tight.

Enduring great trials hope will sustain,
When anchored upon God’s holiest name.

So I can rejoice even in sorrow,
For hope assures of a better tomorrow.

But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. 1 Peter 3:15

Therefore, we who have fled to him (Jesus) for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary. Jesus has already gone in there for us. He has become our eternal High Priest in the order of Melchizedek.  Hebrews 6:18-20

Hope to the Rescue

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Life will take you to some rough water.

Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord. Psalm 31:24

As the world swirls in pandemic turmoil,
My hope is in the Lord.

As the economy topples into depression,
My hope is in the Lord.

As I struggle with temptation,
My hope is in the Lord.

As I try to calm my anxious thoughts,
My hope is in the Lord.

As I worry for my family,
My hope is in the Lord.

As evil seems to have its way,
My hope is in the Lord.

We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield.
In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name.
May your unfailing love rest upon us, O Lord, even as we put our hope in you. Psalm 33:20-22

Write your own difficult trial on paper and follow it with—my hope is in the Lord. This little exercise really does help.

Pouring Prayer

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The flow of life, some is smooth and some rough.

It was an epiphany of sorts. I saw my parents and grandparents praying for me and knew their prayers had played a vital role in the flow of my life. As if they had been pouring goodness into me.

Timothy in the New Testament benefited from such prayer—

Night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers. I long to see you again, for I remember your tears as we parted. And I will be filled with joy when we are together again. I remember your genuine faith, for you share the faith that first filled your grandmother Lois and your mother, Eunice. And I know that same faith continues strong in you.  2 Timothy 1:3-5 NIV

The prayers poured out for Timothy by Paul and Timothy’s Grandmother and Mother, helped him in his life.

That is one of the major reasons for being part of a local church so that we can pour prayer into each other.

Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere. Ephesians 6:18 NLT

Paul states that prayer is one part of armor we should not neglect in our battle with the powers of this dark world.

Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Ephesians 6:13 NLT

So I encourage you to pour out prayer for your family and friends and not give up.

Flowing Around the Rock

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Water flowing around rocks

“Do not worship any other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.” Exodus 34:14

This is actually very reassuring for it means God works in our lives to keep us following Him. He will not stand for our worship of anything else. It also means God is there when we get on our knees and pray.

When I am anxious and ask for help, He is there.
When I am sad and cry out, He is there.
When I feel the pull of temptation, He is there to give me strength.
When I am joyous, He is joyous with me and will guard me from falling into hedonism.
He is always leading me to Himself.
When the world is falling down around me He is my rock, my refuge, and my savior.
In all my ways God keeps me for Himself.
Knowing this brings forth thanksgiving and praise.
I can take a deep breath in His closeness and rest in worship of my God.

“The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge,
my shield and the horn of my salvation.
He is my stronghold, my refuge and my savior—
from violent men you save me.
I call to the Lord, who is worthy of praise,
and I am saved from my enemies.” 2 Samuel 22:2-4

Drop by Drop Beauty Forms

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A beautiful ice chandelier

Just like this ice sculpture is being formed drop by drop, layer upon layer into something beautiful, we too are being carefully molded by the Holy Spirit into the likeness of Christ.

For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace. John 1:16 NAS

Undeserved grace upon grace,

For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 2 Corinthians 4:17

Unnoticed blessing upon blessing

And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.                 2 Corinthians 3:18

So take heart God is not done yet, but know this He is faithful to carry us onto completion.

…being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6

Looking Down Seeing Up

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Clouds and trees reflected pools of water along the Icicle River.

With all the alarming things in the news, I need to see the heavens instead of the frightening rocks.

I will lie down and sleep in peace,
for you alone, O Lord,
make me dwell in safety. Psalm 4:8