I’m a horse!

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Psalm 32:8-9 says: “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you. Do not be like the horse or the mule, which have no understanding but must be controlled by bit and bridle or they will not come to you.”

Meditating on this verse I imagined myself a horse that God was riding. At first He led me beside still waters and into green pastures, saying “Eat, drink, rest.” But I’m wanting to take Him somewhere! I tell Him I’m ready and fully expect Him to tell me where we’re going or show me a map.

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That’s when it hits me – I’m a horse! I can’t read a map! I remember riding horses as a girl when we lived in Arizona. I knew the direction I wanted to go on my rides and what I wanted to see, but never once did I make a map and show it to the horse!

I didn’t even tell the horse what my itinerary was. And yet I would not expect the horse to be frustrated or angry if it didn’t know the length and direction of our journey in advance. As we’d leave the stable, I would gently guide it where I wanted it to go.

God is like that with us…Even though we are created in His image, He is so far above us in wisdom and power that we could not possibly understand from His perspective, the plans He has for us.

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But we can be assured that He has a good plan for each of us. We can know without a doubt that from His perspective on high, He knows what is in our best interest, and we can trust Him.

So when God tells me to rest, eat and drink, I had better do that. He knows what is ahead and knows what I need to be doing. I can trust that He has planned our journey and is preparing me for it now.

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He doesn’t promise to tell each of us what the plan is or spell it out in terms we can understand in advance, but like our horse, He will guide us in the right direction. And we will reach the destinations along our way if we will but attend to and yield to His hands on our reins.

Jeremiah 29:11-13 assures us that He has a plan for us: a prosperous and protective plan, full of hope and with our best future at its heart. These verses also assure that He hears us when we call on Him in prayer and that He is accessible when we seek Him with all of our hearts.

 

 

Color, Beauty, Hope

Spring has finally come to Colorado!
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We have Evergreens: Spruce, Pines, Firs, and Junipers, that stay green all year round so there’s always some color. But now lately those trees that don’t stay green here are putting out leaves. It’s so beautiful to see!

The edelweiss is out and the roses are leafing.

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My first poppy has bloomed. And the lilacs are out and the iris. And even though we’re only a couple of weeks from our latest snow, the ground has finally committed to Spring!

It reminds me of renewal, rebirth, which inspires me.

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God has created this earth, this place for us to live in, with seasons that remind us of His plan and purpose to care for us. He knows so well that we need change as well as stability. We get bored when nothing changes, but we also rely on the constancy of the order of the seasons. And each one brings with it a freshness. Something new to enjoy.

For me, Spring is a season of hope. And this year, it feels like we all really need it.

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Seeing the new life in the yard, the color, the beauty, even smelling the wonderful fragrances, is so satisfying and hopeful. And gives me that sense that goodness lies ahead.

I pray it will for you too.

All God’s Children

We are all God’s children. Period.

He loves us and desires to have a relationship with us. To show us how much He loves us. To teach us. Encourage us. Protect us. To enjoy time with us just the way He created us. All the same reasons we desire to spend time with our children.

Ianunder1When they’re young there’s more protecting and teaching. But as they mature and get older the time we spend together is simply to enjoy their company. To do things together. To laugh together. Still to support them, encourage them, help them over tough times, even cry with them.

How sad to be a parent whose child only comes to them when they’re in desperate need. When they’ve gotten themselves in some kind of trouble and need to be bailed out. Not much of a relationship is it?

But how often are we like that with God? When things are going well, we keep our distance.

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Children go through stages.  Some are more demanding than others. I loved teaching them how to walk, speak, dress themselves, how to play games. And I loved teaching them algebra, how to get along with people, and how to make spaghetti sauce from scratch

Each one of our sons has left the nest and come back for a time.  It has been such a joy to get to know them as adults. When they left for college, they had gotten to such an enjoyable stage! They were pretty independent and so much fun to be around.  We missed them terribly. I felt like we sent them off to go brighten up someone else’s life.

When was the last time you spent any quality time with your heavenly Father?

wood-bench-986347_640Spend Time with God. Get to know Him as an adult. Let Him continue to teach you, to build into your life, to speak to you, and encourage you as an adult.

We are not meant to face the world alone. And He is there. As close as a prayer.

Even more than I desire to spend time with my sons, He desires to spend time with you.

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Make some time this week.  He remembers you. You’re the apple of His eye. He still has your picture on His refrigerator!

No matter your age – You are His child.

God’s Sabbath is Our Sabbath

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Thank You Lord for Your Sabbath to rest in.

Whether you celebrate the Sabbath on Saturday or Sunday, here’s some food for thought:

God created the world in six days and on the seventh He rested.

This is something we may have been taught as little children. Or maybe read it in the book of Genesis later in life. For some families and individuals, it’s a very different day from the rest of the week. For some, not so much.

I went to my first Virtual Seminar this Spring, and a wonderful teacher – Dr Saundra Dalton-Smith spoke about her book Sacred Rest.  She has identified 7 areas where we can be lacking in rest.  More than just feeling tired, a lack of rest can impact your health, your relationships, make your thinking fuzzy, cause moodiness, and more.

So we need rest. After talking about the 7 different kinds of rest we need, which you can read about in her book or on her website, she said something that struck me.

God created the world in six days, and on the seventh day, He rested. That I knew.

But He created us, man and woman on the 6th day. So His 7th day, was actually our 1st day after being created.

God made the Sabbath our first full day.  We didn’t have to work for it.  We didn’t work 6 days like He did to earn our Sabbath.  It was His gift to us.

It’s a small distinction, but it’s had a great impact on me.  God created everything out of nothing!  And then he rested. He must have known we would not be able to work for 6 days before we needed a rest, so, in His wisdom, He gave us our Sabbath at the beginning.

It’s the same now. I don’t have to work 6 days to earn my Sabbath. It’s not something I even deserve from working hard. It’s His free gift to me, that one day a week I can come and spend time with Him to be filled, encouraged, and empowered for the coming week.  He will give me what I need so that I am not pouring out from an empty cup.

It’s a small tweak in my understanding, but it’s changed the way I feel about the Sabbath. His gift to me is to prepare me for the week.  And since He knows what my week will holdHis preparation is perfect – if I will just take time to connect with Him.

calendar-660670_640On your next Sabbath, I hope you will set aside time to rest in the Lord: to listen for His voice, to accept His instruction, to revel in His presence.

And to thank Him for your Sabbath.

For more information on the 7 types of rest, take the Rest Quiz

Unity is a gift

Unity is a gift, and it comes from God. 

We are in dire need of unity today…in our marriages and families, our communities, our churches and our nation. In scripture we learn how God blessed His people with unity.

Hezekiah sought God’s guidance and blessing.  And God blessed: “Also in Judah the hand of God was on the people to give them unity of mind to carry out what was ordered… following the Word of the Lord.” 

Paul also wrote about the unity of believers: May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 

So I believe unity needs to start with us, believers, asking for and being willing to seek it in our relationships – first, with each other.

Heavenly Father, I ask for unity in our church.   As we make decisions about our future, our finances, our lives of serving and ministering together, give us agreement in these areas.  Help us see our circumstances from Your perspective.  And regardless of what the world would say, give us Your wisdom.  Remind us to put our faith not in numbers or schedules or the plans of men, but in You.   

In our church, many plans can be prayerfully considered, but only Your plan counts.  And only You can bring it to pass.  Father, honor the desire of our church to bring Your kingdom into our community.  Show us how to most effectively do that.

Help us make all who come feel welcome and make a place for them to learn and grow and use their God given gifts and talents in our fellowship.

Lord God, I ask for unity of Your believers.  So many things divide us.  Even as one body, we are many people with many opinions.  We are overcome with the world.  We fight each other over things that are disputable until the world sees an inconsistent, arguing, critical body that they want to avoid at all costs; instead of being drawn into Your love and Your care for them. 

You give us endurance and encouragement in Your Word.  Let us draw on Your Word’s truth to live our lives. 

“For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.”  Father, bring us this hope.  Bring it into our relationships, our families, our church, our nation.  

Remind us to make time to read the Scriptures so we might receive this encouragement.  Let us learn so we will have the endurance we need.  Give us patience and humility so we can be used by You.  

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And as we live and work and serve together, we can be a model for others. It will take work. And we need God’s help. Through Him we can have the encouragement, the endurance, and hope for our future.