Hope, Refreshment, New Life – Around Every Corner

Pastel blue robin’s eggs – a creamy blue to the naked eye. These petite life vessels are quite fragile. They are tiny homes to little mouths that will need to be fed by the nourishment from the earth. The wingspan of the mama will protect, shelter and guard the bodies of her sweet baby birds.

The spring air brings with it such hope and refreshment. New life is around every corner. Flowers, aromatic and vibrant, burst forth from the moist ground – reaching upward toward the rays of the warm sun.

Daylight brings with it sweet anticipation. May we open our arms to the sky and expect the rain to descend upon the thirsty ground. The Maker of Heaven and Earth will water his creation with provision and blessings – it is coming!

We are, like those delicate eggs, dependent – for sustenance. Gaining strength day by day, this grit comes not by our power or might – but is made perfectly complete in Him. It is by his spirit says the LORD!

LORD, may we be filled with the fragrant wind of new life! Embody our actions and mind.

He builds his lofty palace in the heavens and sets its foundation on the earth; he calls for the waters of the sea and pours them out over the face of the land—the Lord is his name. – Amos 9:6

Makeover our temples – and illuminate us. It is my desire to be a walking lamp-stand. I want to shine like a string light proudly fashioned in a pitch black backyard. A little strand of jovial intimacy but also sheer brilliance.

As the earth brings forth newness of life – may this season usher forth in our lives a fresh sense of urgency to shout your name from the rooftops! Miracles happen to those who put their trust in the Mover of the mountains.

Transplant the highlands, Sweet Jesus. This child opens her will and sacrifices her way – for yours! Like ivy on a colossal oak, may my soul cling to your precious promises! Mighty are you GOD of ALL.

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When The Brook Has Dried Up

'The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the LORD sends rain on the land.' - 1 Kings 17_ 7, 8 & 14You’re parched – literally craving the mist circling like a watery aura around the garden hose. You lean forward and try to guzzle that stream of cool water; yet – the spicket runs dry before you can enjoy even one taste.

You grimace and feel destitute; but, sometimes the brooks in our lives run dry. We sit there with empty hands, scratch our heads and try to lap up the dust – but the stream is emaciated.

When this happens, we can feel helpless – like a toddler that has our security blanket snatched from us too soon, we cry out and are baffled at why this water has been stolen from us. It’s not only appalling, it’s painful.

But is it necessarily a bad thing to be parched – especially when we are trusting entirely too much in our own shallow water source?

God gives and takes away.

And though the taking away part might be extremely agonizing, if you are a Child of God – never doubt that he will always give you beauty for ashes and strength for fear.

He will point you to the stream that overflows with rich, cool, never ending water – for by drinking from that brook, we truly fill our souls.

“Some time later the brook dried up because there had been no rain in the land. Then the word of the LORD came to him …”

“The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the LORD sends rain on the land.” – 1 Kings 17: 7, 8 & 14

We must let the LORD’s rain water our spirits and wash away our feeble sources of fulfillment.

This might mean a little time in the desert – walking on crackling, thirsty soil. But, it’s worth it. You may not feel like it now – but wandering can lead to bold contentment.

Like the Israelites, their time in the desert was not wasted. They saw miracles come to pass, God raised up brave leaders and they were led to a land flowing with milk and honey.

May we drop our earthly wanton desires and seek the water that daily provides nourishment to our souls.

God will not let you be barren for a lifetime.

He wants to water your roots; but water them with his stream of healing, living waters.

Beautiful Love Bursting Forth

The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying_ _I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness. – Jeremiah 31_3Love. It’s bursting forth. Like a bubbling brook with cool, refreshing water. God’s love for us is overflowing and never-ending. What love is this that the Father has lavished upon us!

The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness. – Jeremiah 31:3

He looks into our eyes – and deep emotion is garnered. Affection is felt. Not the kind of affection we feel for a family member, loved one, children or spouse. No, this love is deeper. It’s a mixture of all those loves combined along with heavenly, pure passion.

What chills we would feel, if we were to look into the physical face of the King of Kings! One day – we will. But until then, we are blown away at the sensation we garner as the LORD’s loving wind sweeps over our senses.

This feeling is beyond compare. It’s selfless. No mortal being can love us with this type of zeal and adoration.

He is jealous for me, loves like a hurricane; I am a tree, bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy. When all of a sudden, I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory, and I realize just how beautiful You are, and how great Your affections are for me. – David Crowder Band Lyrics

Look up to the heavens, sweet child of the King, and feel the LORD’s love wash over you. He is pleased when you fall before him and thank him for his gracious and greatest sacrifice of all – his blood.

Dance in the freedom that God’s self-sacrificial love has given you. Share his light with the world. He has not called you to be a canister that blocks and snuffs out his all-encompassing light.

Shine bright. Breathe in his love, and share it with others searching and seeking. We all need love, and the kind that the Father of Lights offers can complete a seeking soul! Amen.

May I Not Conceal Your Love And Your Faithfulness

I do not hide your righteousness in my heart; I speak of your faithfulness and your saving help.We shouldn’t hide it – that light that beams from within our souls. Our hearts are not meant to be camouflage canisters, tucked away for safekeeping. They are made to palpitate in severity for the King of Kings.

Let the world see your life chamber beat with robust rhythms. Don’t quench that love that flows from the sparkle in your eyes and the crevices of your smile. You make a difference when you radiate Christ.

I do not hide your righteousness in my heart; I speak of your faithfulness and your saving help. I do not conceal your love and your faithfulness from the great assembly. – Psalm 40:10

We are beckoned to share the luminous blessing of our salvation. How could we hide such a rich treasure that makes our souls soar and dead bodies come to life?

Broken and alone, this world is seeking. People are searching for the light your body houses – the light that scorches isolation, fear and discouragement. You carry a powerful light, sweet child of God! You carry the truth that will cut through falsehood.

You will meet resistance. Remember the darkness cannot tolerate the light for in its presence, it dissipates. Hold fast – and stand firm. The steadfast heart is rewarded with crowns of splendor.

Fasten your feet to the bedrock of your Savior’s loyalty. Like a knight dressed in solid silver, hold up that sword and shield in courage. Shout in clarity the battle cry of strength and victory.

Do not be ashamed of the Gospel, dear one. Evil will try to make you feel afraid and humiliated of your moral stances – but resist this vile untruth. Focus on the sweet fruit from the vine of the LORD.

The vine always provides the life sustaining nutrients in order to sustain the plant. Drink up the provision of the King. His nourishment will equip you for every challenge you may face!

The Giver + Sunrise Benefactor

flower crown.jpgToday I hope you feel blessed, just really thankful –all the way from the crown of your head to your wiggling toes! May you feel God’s bountiful promises that are new every single morning wash over your face and countenance.

It’s inevitable; the world will burden you down with weighty problems and troubling information. You will see evil claim happiness and joy from those you love. You will experience the grip of darkness from time to time. But, do not lose heart; and do not for a second give into the darkness.

Claim the blood of your Maker.

His life, here on earth, was not sacrificed in vain. For he purchased my soul and yours with his crimson bloodshed.

Rejoice in your Giver.

He makes the sun shine each morning and wraps you in the breeze of his never-ending comfort. The flowers open and bloom for our Sunrise Benefactor. The LORD is the gardener of our lives in this weed ridden land.

Look up – and smile, even in the face of haunting iniquity.

Your God did the same – he overcame the grave and desires for you to mirror his glow to the world that has forgotten his love.

Touch his nail scarred hands. Realize the gravity of that adoration for you – your soul. Squash fear and put on faith. Your armor is ready, all it takes is the willingness to strap it on.

“Peace is what I leave with you; it is my own peace that I give you. I do not give it as the world does. Do not be worried and upset; do not be afraid.” – John 14:27

Dear One, remember in this world you will have trouble – but our God has overcome the world. It may be tough to feel the overpowering strength of your Creator in this venture in your life. However, he is there – holding on to you, breathing in your lungs and providing precious sight to your weary eyes.

Light breaks darkness.

Through a cracked door – a light stream will illuminate an unrecognizable room. May we always seek his light and may our souls well up in thanksgiving for we are light cages on a parched and obscure earth.

The Table is Set – The Feast is Ready

foodThe table is set – the feast is ready. Mouth watering at the rich, buttery food in bowls of bounty at the polished farm table, you wait for the dinner guests. The night is cool and the breeze wafts through your long locks like a narrow comb.

But, where are the guests?

Stars illuminating the night sky – almost as much as the moon, you reflect. The invitations were mailed and the blessing was inscribed with flowery language that mirrors promises. It was clear – this feast would bring a blessing.

Yet, why were there no guests holding hands open for the food prepared that fully satisfies?

With wedding dress of intricate flowers etched on the exterior of your garment, you wait. Surely – a multitude will come and sup with the Father – the Savior Supreme. For it is written in God’s Word:

Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb! – Revelation 19:9

Nevertheless, only the echo of silence pervades the light speckled sky. Your mind races to the watchmen of old – those that fixed their eyes on the walls.

Were you placed here to usher in the wedding guests? Would they listen? Maybe a simple invitation was not enough for the occasion; but, rather a blast of the shofar, given to you for such a time as this!

You shout – and pray for others to take notice of the feast prepared in the presence of our enemies. For God, is waiting to anoint our head with oil and overflow our cup with blessings!

How priceless is your unfailing love! Both high and low among men find refuge in the shadow of your wings. They feast on the abundance of your house; you give them drink from your river of delights. –Psalm 36: 7-8

Come sup with the Lord of Ages! He is calling for you to sit at the table and partake of the food he has prepared. This substance is filling and forever satisfies.

He awaits to crown your head with splendor and make you his watchmen on the wall. Pull up a chair. Sit at the table.

The Foliage of His Faithfulness

tree lineStrapped to my back is a parcel. It’s worn and dusty. Looking out at the tree line, I see it – the dark spaces that lie within that timber. Should I venture inside the hunter green forest with the tattered satchel on my back and shoes that have carried me thus far?

My possessions are damaged. They are not sufficient for sustaining me in an ominous forest.  But, my soul calls me to step closer to the trees that hold game birds – big and small. My heart pounds to break free, move forward and leave my self-sustaining articles behind me.

The trees call out and sing in a chord and harmony unknown to man. It is peaceful, whole and jubilant. Confidence beacons me to trust not in my own possessions – but in the breeze that fills my lungs and gives me sweet breath.

This spirit that sweeps over my body is all sustaining. He propels me forward into the unknown with the courage of a lion to walk in power knowing the muscle in my body is not from my greatness but from a Creator that becomes truly all powerful in the acknowledgment of my weakness.

“Have you not known? Have you not heard? The God Who lives forever is the Lord, the One Who made the ends of the earth. He will not become weak or tired. His understanding is too great for us to begin to know. He gives strength to the weak. And He gives power to him who has little strength.” – Isaiah 40:28, 29

My little eyes to see— turned into saucers of his grace and provision; guide me forward into the foliage quite scary to the simple observer. And I step out in my weakness knowing that he who is in me is fiercely able and resilient. He leads me into the shrubs knowing full well that I will experience the foliage of his faithfulness.

Lead me on a journey to understand your full-bodied nature, sweet Lord! Let me stroke the mane of your endless splendor and witness the stride of your unmatched glory. It is you that gives my body life. Take my satchel of worldly things – and take this explorer to the mountain top to truly observe and absorb your wonder.

When My Tears Get Heavy & Emotions Run Wild

TEARS RUN DEEP

Tears. Those salty drops of water that express sorrow and joy! Although, I hate to experience them, I know they are necessary.  They are the outpouring of emotion – both good and bad. Appearing out of the blue, these saline conduits of human sensation can take you by surprise.

Dripping down the face, they carry a deep meaning – we are fragile and can sense heart breaks, merriment and failure. With empty hands we wipe these tears from our flesh face and realize the depravity of our human state. We are affected by this world – this sphere of gritty pleasures and brokenness. It takes hold of our heart and pulses in intensity.

Even the Psalmist writes,

Have mercy on me, LORD, for I am in distress. Tears blur my eyes. My body and soul are withering away. -Psalm 31:10

These tears and grief want to consume us. But, Dear One – don’t let the sorrow of our flesh state invade. Don’t let it take root in your heart and spread like an unruly virus. When, you feel alone, remember that – our God is right there saying,

“For I hold you by your right hand–I, the LORD your God. And I say to you, ‘Don’t be afraid. I am here to help you.” – Isaiah 41: 13

On my knees with damp face and bellowing body, I realize that I need to weep over the greatness of my Savior. Yet, I focus on my life so much that his goodness is out of my sight. Redirected vision is needed.

Focus from myself pushed aside, let me rejoice, with tears in my eyes, over the sacrifice of Christ –at the crude cross of Calvary. That cross held the bleeding, weeping body of my Redeemer. He endured pain, torture and ridicule for me. This picture of salvation should bring tears to my eyes.

God, let me remember when my tears get heavy and my emotions run wild – that you were the sacrifice. You died to save me from such suffering, and came so that I might ‘have life, and have it abundantly.’ Earthly circumstances are fleeting, they ruffle our feathers – but the cross of Christ is lasting.

May my tears be shed in jubilation, not out of selfish distress; but out of wonder and admiration – for you have conquered the grave and risen — leaving the burial cloths in the unoccupied tomb!

Joy – The Kind That Slaps You in The Face

joy slappingJoy – the kind that slaps you in the face with its wet, cool goodness on a steamy summer day. Lapping up the earthy stream from the water hose, I want this joy to infuse my being with nourishment and rejuvenating relief.

He stills my spirit and waters my weary heart. Like a child that cannot wait one second to plunge into the deep blue pool, I want to drive into the joy of the Lord. Discarding the life preservers on the side of the concrete oasis, I will trust in Him – to protect, defend and enable me in depths of life.

“The joy of the Lord is your strength.”—Nehemiah 8:10.

He fills our hearts with not just gladness – but complete delight. That is the kind of joy I want to feel. The sensation that encapsulates the deepest happiness and comprises the guttural laughs of relatives reliving precious memories late into the night!

“You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound.” – Psalm 4:7

True pure pleasure comes in the presence of Christ. The pleasure that you felt as a child, running soaking wet through the sprinklers in the lawn! That fresh cut grass sticking to your toes and calves – clinging onto your body as you run from tree to tree.

May your goodness and joy cling hold of my life today and always, God! Cover me with your brilliant blooms of new life and enliven my spirit. I don’t want to splash in the warm puddles, heated by your favor and blessings; I want to dive headfirst into the wonder and majesty of you.

As I enter into your beautiful presence, fill me with your complete joy.

Fear – The Nasty Poisonous Berry

FEARFear. It rears its ugly head in our lives so often. It’s fear that tells us that we are not good enough or will never measure to the standard of perfection.

It’s fear that is that snake in the garden handing us that apple of pleasure. It whimpers ‘eat,’ knowing full well, that we are protected and under the power of God’s grace.

Fear is a nasty poisonous berry. It hinders and destroys us from blooming fully and assuredly into the beautiful flower that God has called us to be!

You see, God waters us every day with his loving kindness. His Word is the Miracle Grow to our lives; but, we can so easily get entangled and chocked by the thorns of fear.

We can choose to listen to the thorns around us and forget that Jesus wore that crown of thrones for you. He choked that weed, took your fear and replaced it with his grace and mercy. He did this all at the foot of the cross.

You can grow fully in Him, if you follow his Word. He has spoken everlasting promises over you, sweet one – promises that no eye has seen nor ear has heard. He has handed you the keys to his kingdom and said ‘love me and others.’ How beautiful.

Don’t let fear steal your perfect joy. Don’t let it rob you of your eternal riches. Look at that snake in the face and say, ‘Christ died and took my thorns of fear and insecurity. He replaced it all with grace, hope and anticipation.’ How great the love the Father has lavished upon us!