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.”
A simple morning prayer
Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love,
for I have put my trust in you.
Show me the way I should go,
for to you I lift up my soul. Psalm 143:8
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.
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
Lupine lifting up to praise God
Praise the Lord, O my soul.
When I praise God, I begin to review all he has done for me.
He has forgiven me, and removed my shame.
He has redeemed my life from sorrow and death.
He satisfies all my desires.
He leads me into goodness and guards me on the way.
His love for me knows no bounds, and he will not let anything come between us.
He shares himself with me, and gives me his name that I should call upon him.
Even the flowers of the field praise the Lord.
What a blessing it is to praise God
Praise the Lord, O my soul.
A paraphrase of Psalm 103
You don’t want to miss sunrise
When I am in a grumpy mood,
I miss out on goodness.
When I am angry,
I miss out on love.
When I covet and filled with discontent,
I miss out on all the gifts I have been given.
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Psalm 51:10
For only when I am right with God can I enjoy all his blessings.
Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit. Psalm 51:11-12
How good is God that he wants to clean us up that we might enjoy life.
Morning light on a cold day
In the dead of winter, it is the hope of Spring that keeps us going. In the same way, knowing the promises of God, and leaning upon them in our struggles gives us hope, that provides strength to go on.
Remember Your word to Your servant,
for You have given me hope.
My comfort in my suffering is this:
Your promise preserves my life. Psalm 119:49-50
The others were hardened, as it is written:
“God gave them a spirit of stupor,
eyes so that they could not see
and ears so that they could not hear,
to this very day.” Romans 11:7-8
Lord, open the eyes of my heart.
This first picture is what came out of the camera. Pretty dull why even bother.
Snow in the Woods
This second picture is after some color processing. Brings it closer to what I saw with my eyes. A little better and more exciting.
Sunrise in the woods
The third picture is what I saw with my heart—Heaven’s gate.
As I watched the sunrise this morning all the colors and beauty made my heart sing praise.
For in You is the fountain of life; in Your light we see light. Psalm 36:9
Music by Aaron Copland / Sunrise over Leavenworth, WA / time lapse photography by Stephen Hufman / beauty, glory, joy, and praise all belong to God. Merry Christmas