Tag Archives: path

Remind them of the truth

No matter where the path of God leads those people we love, it’s important for us as fellow followers to do a few things regularly.

Philippians 1:3-6 NKJV — I thank my God upon every remembrance of you,
always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy, for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;

We need to remember those God has placed in our lives, being thankful and praising God.

Being diligent and purposeful about our relationships.

We need to be praying for them, not just blanket prayers (safety, health, job), but seeking God for His guidance in prayer and then faithfully praying for them.

We need to remind them that God is the One doing the good work in their lives.

To exhort them according to scripture, encouraging them in their walk, and being the one who comes alongside.

Because we all need these things in our own life.

Philippians 1:9-11 NKJV — And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You so much for Your Word. Thank You for the clear direction we find in it. Lord Jesus, please help me to walk in Your Word. Lord, to remember those in my life. To be purposeful about prayer and words of encouragement. Lord, please help me to grow in love more and more in knowledge, to be discerning, sincere, and without offense. Lord, help me to be filled with the fruits of righteousness, that I might be a blessing to others and bring glory to Your name. Thank You. Amen.

Missing the sunrise

It rolled in yesterday, not long after an alert came through on my phone about hot dry winds for the next few days.

As the smoke came in I was reminded of the summer when a forest fire was not far from where we lived then and destroyed so much.

No one in our area felt like we even had much of a summer, because the smoke kept everyone indoors.

We did enjoy all the signs placed everywhere telling the fire workers what we considered them: Heros!

Those memories are valuable.

God did so much during that scary time and I know He’s working in today.

Because the sun didn’t rise this morning, but Jesus’s truth still does.

An orange glow through the smoke is all the eye can see, but my heart can see God’s faithfulness even in times of uncertainty.

Because of the smoke and my asthma, yesterday was difficult for me.

So, I’m going to be staying in my room until it’s passed.

Our air purifier does a great job and I’m so thankful for a safe place.

I’m also super blessed to have an adjoining bathroom.

My husband left instructions for the kids, so they are handling food, house keeping, ect.

I’m so thankful for them.

And I’m praying.

Praying for those who find breathing a struggle.

Praying for the fire workers and their families.

Praying for those Emergency workers who help so many.

Praying for our nation and the hearts to return to God.

Although I miss the Sun, I’m not lonely.

God’s Son has already shined upon my heart this morning.

And I’m praising Him.

John 3:36 NKJV — “He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your light shining! Thank You for the truth of salvation which breaks through the thickest darkness and sets souls free. Thank You for lighting up Your path of truth through the Scriptures and the teaching of the Holy Spirit. Thank You for an opportunity to praise You. Lord, please help those who are struggling. Please be with the young and the aged. Please let this time be used to draw hearts to You. Please save the lost and return the prodigal. Thank You for Your faithfulness. Thank You for Your love. Thank You for Your Word. Amen.

Answers

It’s been several days.

I’ve been seeking the Lord for direction and guidance for our family.

My prayer: “Lord let us know what Your will is.”

The answer came yesterday.

But it didn’t look like what I expected.

It wasn’t a comfortable circumstance.

Yet, our direction was clear.

As I went to bed, I thanked God for His direction, although was still a little emotionally prickled by the form.

I hadn’t realized it until this morning.

Without really thinking about the words my emotions were asking God, “Why did the answer have to come that way?”

With my first thoughts this morning He answered.

You wanted direction and I gave it.

I chose that tool to make it very clear to you and your husband.

And my response had been to be focused on my own discomfort, rather than praising God for answering.

I had to wonder.

Would my husband and I have accepted His guidance if He’d used a different circumstance?

I can say, my perspective changed in that moment.

I began to praise God for His direction and guidance.

My heart thanked Him for His Sovereignty.

I looked at my life and began to see a long series of circumstances which were uncomfortable, some very painful, and I could look back at how God’s hand of direction was in each.

Although I didn’t enjoy walking through those things, I am praising God for them.

He has used trials, pain, and all manner of life’s struggles to direct, guide, and hone me.

As difficult as those things were, I am praising God for them.

As uncomfortable as some things are, I’m praising God for them.

I don’t want to live without Him, and He said to take up my cross and follow Him.

He wasn’t walking to a picnic when He carried His cross.

I shouldn’t expect one either.

Following Christ, carrying His cross, brings so much reward.

His path broke the chains of sin and death forever!

Then He rose, and He walked a little longer with mankind on the Earth.

And now He is preparing a place for all who believe in His name, what He did, and who He is, God’s Son.

Part of that preparation is a wedding feast, the marriage of the Lamb.

Yes, I want to carry my cross and follow Him.

For the days of struggle, trials, and pain are few compared to the joy which eternity holds.

I praise God for His path for me.

And I’ll take a wedding feast over a picnic any day!

Psalm 16:11 NKJV — You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

God directs his steps

Photo by N.K.

We were just trying to buy a birthday gift.

Sis, baby, and I were at the Christian book store, this weekend.

Unfortunately, what we wanted was sold out.

However, the owner was super helpful and got on his phone.

He called other stores in an effort to find what we were trying to purchase.

Other stores were also sold out, but online produced an opportunity and the owner ordered the gift.

The gentleman chatted with me as we finished up the purchase.

He told me he is a pastor.

Went to seminary and when he and his family came to the area many years ago God didn’t give him a church as he had expected.

Since he “needed to pay the bills” he took a job in a Christian book store.

Eventually, he bought it.

It was obvious, owning the store is his ministry.

He kindly inquired how to pray for me and my family.

“I pray for all my customers.”

I’m certain he was speaking the truth.

Jesus’s gentle love was so apparent not only in this pastor, but also in the other people who work there.

The store is a lovely enjoyable place to go.

Later, it struck me.

Owning and operating a Christian book store hadn’t been his plan.

But it was definitely God’s.

And what a blessing!

Our family has already shopped there a couple of times and we plan to return soon.

I wonder, would it even exist if this man and his family been given a church?

How wonderful to see God using this family’s circumstances to direct them into God’s plans for them.

Throughout my own life, most of my ideas about things have changed through God’s patience, His work through circumstances, and lovingly directing our family.

He’s also taught me so much through His Word.

And although it’s difficult to let go and learn to trust through every circumstance, it’s honestly the very best any of us can do.

Proverbs 16:9 NKJV — A man’s heart plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps.

Amen.

Another new

image

You’ve probably figured out by now that I never get tired of taking pictures of flowers.

Part of that lies in the fact that they are new.

I know I have sunflower pictures, but I don’t have a picture of this sunflower,  it’s new!

I wish I could say I have the same exuberance over every new in my life.

Unfortunately, my common emotion is fear.

I know there is a terrible flaw in me when I look at life’s changes and I come up grasping the old things.

The flaw lies in my heart.

I am afraid of the new because I don’t know what to expect.

I don’t know how to plan.

I don’t have any idea what my needs will be so I can’t prepare.

These are the old, ugly, finger prints of leaning on my own strength, of doing things in my own will.

As I’ve been being renewed by Jesus, He’s been showing me the blessings of letting that go.

In the past I tried to control my life, schedule, family in an effort to make it all work!

How futile.

I’m not God.

I can’t make anything work.

It’s like ants who have lost their scent line and are simply running around desperate to find it again.

As the Lord has been patiently teaching me to rest in His ways and to let go of all my ideals, opinions,  and preferences I’ve learned that new is healthy.

I’m not completely out of the habits of fear and clinging to the old, but I’m learning to see it coming so I can place it back in the hands of Jesus.

“Dear Jesus,

Thank You for all You have done. You have answered so many of my prayers. I could fill up many many books telling of Your greatness and Your faithfulness. Please continue to uphold me and my family as we seek to honor You with our actions, attitude,  and words. Help us to continue to live new each day for You without our own ideas and desires clouding the path. Hold us, for we are quick to return to the old ways. Thank You, for You alone are our strength and in You we are new!”

Which path?

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“And the Angel of the LORD said to him,…
‘Behold, I have come out to stand against you,  because your way is perverse before Me.’ ” Numbers 22:32b

What would cause God to stand in the way?

What was this person’s path leading to?

What does God consider perverse?

In this case the path was leading to follow the dictates of an idolater who was trying to bribe Balaam to  pronounce a curse on God’s people.

The path was leading to the harm of the innocent.

And what caused Balaam to desire to step on to it was personal gain.

God makes His heart very clear.

He loves the weak, the fatherless, the widow, the broken,  the lowly.

At no time are we allowed to gain by another’s misfortune.

Nor to seek to take that which belongs to another.

God gives to each one and the blessings of contentment is gained by the  realization that all the provision of each moment is a gift from our Father.

To desire gain of money or things or even status can lead to a path of all kinds of evil.

Balaam did not curse Israel, yet it wasn’t because he didn’t continue on the path.

He ends up dieing at the hands of the Israelites as they fight to cleanse their own way back to following God and His commands.

The Moabities success in harming Israel was to lead their people into idolatry.

The outcome of that was terrible loss of life.

At no time should desires or ambitions harm the innocent as a way to gratify ourselves.

God knows what each path leads to.

He understood what Balaam was getting into and the motivation used to get him on the path in the first place.

The Lord doesn’t mean for us to be fulfilled by the temporary pleasures of this life but by His daily relationship with each one of us.

Careful steps are required.

If the motivation for stepping onto a particular path is contrary to God’s Word, it will be at odds will for one’s relationship with the Lord.

Jesus himself warned us of the snares of the flesh.

“No one can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one and love the other,  or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and riches.” Matt. 6 : 24

Yet ever where one looks the pull for pleasure is screaming for attention.

If it’s not a new better shinier fancier something than it is the “you deserve to…”.

All around each of us the call to please the eye or the flesh or the pride throws out tempting reasons for stepping onto the path.

Yet the price of fun or fulfillment is so often things one never intended to sacrifice.

No wonder the Angel of the LORD was standing in the path.

God knew exactly what Balaam was choosing and he spoke clearly to Balaam before hand not to walk there.

The lesson is two fold.

Be certain of the path, that the motivation to step in any direction isn’t contrary to God.

If one finds themselves already treading the path which harms both the traveler and the innocent make a change.

Seek God.
Seek counsel.
Stop sinning.

The healing hand of the Lord can lead those who find themselves astray.

For we serve a merciful God,
one who is quick to hear and quick to respond.

A gentle reminder

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Despite the fact that flowers bloom every Spring.

Despite the truth that the sun is shining even when it can’t be seen.

Despite the gentle little reminders of God’s greatness and love sprinkled throughout each day.

Fear
is
still
an
enemy
to
trust.

The new,
uncertain,
foreign territory,
can breed fear.

The questions
of others,
the logic of the circumstances,
the harsh facts,
can all stand in the path,
Warning of danger if …

Yet,
for the heart,
which hears the Father calling,
feels the pull into
the path,
to know all the “what ifs”
yet
deep inside knows
to ignore the call
would be to close the ear
to God Almighty,
it is a choice.

What will the future hold?

Why are you doing this?

Will you obey the call of the Lord?

As an added vitamin for the soul,
I flipped my Bible open this morning to this verse.

“Behold, the Lord’s hand is not so short
That it cannot save;
Nor is His ear so dull
That it cannot hear.”  Is. 59:1

For my own path,
My own questions,
I have answered:
I will go.

Despite the questions.

Despite the uncertainty.

Despite the fear of the unknown.

God is always present and able to save me no matter the circumstances.

How could I possibly be safer than in His will, walking His path,  trusting in His Word? 

Thoughts

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Where do thoughts come from?

At times mine are planted from things I have read or heard.

Others it has been spoken words that replay like voice mail in my brain.

The thoughts of fear, and failure, and tragedy are normally not mine but have been shot at me like arrows from the enemy of my soul.

But all of these are washed away in the thoughts of Scripture.

Something so refreshing as, “He shall feed His flock like a shepherd: He shall gather the lambs with His arm, and carry them in His bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.” Is.40:11

As a mother who’s greatest desire is to bless and encourage our children it is so comforting to know it all doesn’t rest on my abilities.

I am being led.

As long as I choose to walk in the path of the Master and to allow the Good Shepherd to guide me I can rest in His leading.

Even in my thoughts,  I can choose to follow Him.

Am I worried about my daughter’s progress in math?

I can spend those moments in prayer for her.

Am I concerned about the physical safety of the girls in sports?

I can seek the Lord as to how to train them to be safe, but only after trusting the Lord with them.

Do I find my thoughts lingering near the ugly and ungodly?

I can seek forgiveness and again apply scripture to heal and nourish my soul.

So where do thoughts come from?

I hope yours as well as mine are being bathed in scripture as we are led down the paths of righteousness.