July 29, 2015

Most beautiful Heavenly Father,

 

As I sat down in the quiet cool of the morning on my back patio to spend time with You, I was immediately surrounded by You- the Great I AM! Encompassed by Your immeasurable presence, the word “always” kept popping up in my heart:

*You are ALWAYS here! Even when I am busy and involved in work, play, circumstances…You never ever leave me. You are always waiting for me to be still with You and realize who You are. Your thoughts never leave me even when my thoughts wander from You!

*You are ALWAYS the Great I AM! Your power and authority never change or lessen. You made all the gargantuan galaxies and tiniest molecules- even those we have never discovered yet! Everything that is- was made by Your word, and everything that lives came to life through Your holy breath!  Nothing or no one has more power than You- all things must answer to You!

*You are ALWAYS love! Your love is so much more than we can ever wrap our feeble minds around. Your love determines all that You do…for You are love! Your love is far more powerful than a mother’s love, a daddy’s love, a romantic love, a friendship love, a grandparent’s love. In fact, we would never be capable of love if not for You!

*You are ALWAYS at work! You are always making things new; molding and creating us to be all You know we can be- all You designed us to be! Yet You see fit to limit Your power to work within the confines of our free will (which You saw fit to give us!) You are ALWAYS knitting together our mistakes, weaknesses and even the hard situations in our lives to make something far more beautiful and glorious than we could ever imagine or think to ask for!

*You are ALWAYS faithful! You never forget us; never leave us; never reject us; never give up on us…It is Your deepest desire that not even one should perish but have eternal life that You freely give to us even when we were sinners. You long to have every single one of Your precious children with You forever and ever…yet out of love, You give us a choice. You are faithful to us ALWAYS- even when we are not faithful to You.

*You are ALWAYS waiting…waiting for us to realize who made us, who loves us and who completes us. You wait for us to accept the newness of eternal life given through Jesus Christ. You wait for us to grow in maturity and holiness of Christ. You wait for us to stop and be still with You- to spend time sharing our hearts and lives with You. You wait for us to learn through all the circumstances we go through. You wait for us to share Your hope. And You wait for the day we leave this earth and step into the true Home You have prepared for us…where there will be no more waiting because we will share in the unspeakable joy of being with You ALWAYS!

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“And surely I am with you ALWAYS, to the very end of the age.”     Matthew 28:20

 

“Before the mountains were born or You brought forth the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.”    Psalm 90:2

 

“’I am the Alpha and Omega,’ says the Lord God, ‘who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.’”    Revelation 1:8

July 26, 2015

Heavenly Father,

 

Sometimes more than others, I feel really out of place- like I don’t belong or fit in. When it happens, it throws me off just a little because I’ve grown to accept who I am. I am confident in who I am in You, Lord. Yet there are times when the world seems like a foreign world. Sometimes it happens when I watch the news with all the evil happenings in the world. Sometimes it happens when it seems a whole generation finds humor or entertainment in something that seems totally wrong to my spirit. Sometimes it happens when everyone around me seems obsessed with something that seems so unimportant to me. There are moments of temptation where I just want to fit in with the world and those around me. There can even be a whisper from the tempter saying, “Just do it! Everyone else is!”  or “Everyone thinks you’re strange!”

 

Then I recall that Jesus told us we would be misunderstood, hated and mocked just like He was. We’ve been told that when we live for You, we will be like aliens in a strange land. We are travelers passing through this world. Our true home is with You. It is a good thing to be peculiar and stand out from the world because we are living ambassadors for You and Your kingdom, Lord. No matter where we work, live or travel, we should be shining out with the Light of the world. People should be able to tell we belong to Your kingdom! We need to be ready to answer questions about our King and our Home land.

 

Alright, Lord! I’m OK again! It’s a good thing to feel out of place here… because my real place is with You! Thank You for being with me always no matter where I go. My home is with You! My place is with You! So I’m really not out of place…I’m right where I’m supposed to be!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Jesus warned us in John 15:18-20: “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. Remember the words I spoke to you: ‘No servant is greater than his master. If they persecuted Me, they will persecute you also. ‘”

 

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day He visits us.”    1 Peter 2:9-12

 

Jesus prayer for us in John 17:14-23  “I have given them Your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. My prayer is not that You would take them out of the world but that You protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. Sanctify them by the truth; Your word is truth. As You sent Me into the world, I have sent them into the world. For them I sanctify Myself, that they too may be truly sanctified. My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in Me through their message, that all of them may be one. Father, just as You are in Me and I am in You. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that You have sent Me.”

July 22, 2015

Heavenly Father,

 

Only You would have thought of creating caterpillars that turn into butterflies! The kids in my class had already shown interest in insects last week, so I told them we would study bugs, butterflies and creepy crawlers this week. I’m always asking You to lead me in all I do, so I shouldn’t be surprised…but as I was watering my vegetable plants this weekend, I was shocked to see my parsley plants completely covered in bright green with yellow and black striped caterpillars. One plant was already stripped, and two others were being devoured as I watched. There was my lesson! I got a gallon jar and broke off the stems covered in caterpillars and put several twigs in with them, along with extra parsley leaves. It was so interesting to watch them all weekend. Even more so, to take them to share with the kids! We researched what type of caterpillars they were, the life cycles and what type of butterfly they would develop into. They kids gathered round with magnifying glasses, studying their tiny feet and eyes and ferocious appetites. One rough-and-tumble little boy kept saying, “How cute! I just wish I could hug and kiss them!”

 

How incredible to watch such tiny creatures that have hatched from microscopic eggs into crawling caterpillars that eat until their skin repeatedly burst and sheds- until they finally stop and attach themselves by a little silk button and form a hard shell  or chrysalis. If we didn’t know any better, we would think that was the end…but in due time the chrysalis begins to shake as something inside is trying to break out. Out comes a beautiful fragile butterfly that flaps until its wings dry then lightly floats away to lay more eggs! How beautiful and incredibly amazing is the life that You create- no matter how small! At first glance at those caterpillars, I was mad that they ate my parsley! After watching their incredible transformation from chomping my plant to lifting in flight above the earth, I am now so glad I was led to plant the parsley so I could see and share this miracle!

 

Father, You who made all the galaxies and heavens and earth are more powerful and awesome than anything or anyone! You have all power and authority…yet You are intimately tender and loving to care for the tiniest of Your creatures. You not only transform caterpillars, but You tenderly transform us as we outgrow ourselves and shed what is not needed and grow to be more Christ-like. Father, help there to be less of us and more of You! Lift us up so we can soar high above this earth and all our circumstances! Make us new creatures through Jesus Christ!

 

 

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“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old is gone, the new has come!”  2 Corinthians 5:17

 

“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”     Matthew 10:29-31

 

“Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and His understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”     Isaiah 40:28-31

July 8, 2015

Heavenly Father,

 

A class of 3 and 4 year-old children were lined up at the door to go outside. It wasn’t long at all before they started hitting one another. I had to do something quick to get their attention…so without thinking I started singing the first song that entered my mind: “This Little Light of Mine, I’m gonna let it shine!” I don’t know if it’s the shock of hearing my singing or a new song they hadn’t heard, but it worked better than I hoped. They all stopped and quietly listened and then began to join in! After a few rounds, I asked them if they knew how to make their lights shine. I showed them the most dazzling smile I could muster. Then they all showed me their biggest brightest smiles. It was so joyful. The whole group changed from whining, tattling, pushing and shoving to a gleeful explosion! That’s the power of Your Light, Lord!

 

Thank You for giving me Jesus in my heart- the Light of the world and of my soul! How often I forget that I just need to let Your Light shine. This world can be a dark hopeless place with lots of pushing and selfishness. It is incredible how much even just a little bit of Light can make. It wasn’t made to hoard for myself, or cover up so no one knows I have it, or be afraid someone will accuse me of some illegal act. My job is to let Your Light shine through me at all times, in every situation, even if I stand alone. Even one small light makes a huge difference where there is only darkness! Shining out with the Light You’ve put in me isn’t for spotlighting someone else’s sin, or for drawing glowing attention to myself. It is to draw others to the hope and promise of eternal life with You!

 

The light of Jesus Christ has come into this world and into my heart to bring hope, joy, peace and love to all who want it. It is incredibly bright and contagious! It is not from me or any of Your other children. We are simply little candleholders who carry the Light of Jesus to a world draped in darkness. Help me let my Light shine so others might be drawn to the Source of Light! Shine, Jesus! Shine!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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“When Jesus spoke again to the people, He said, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”   John 8:12

 

(Jesus said) “I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.”     John 12:46

 

(Jesus also said)“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise Your Father in heaven.”   Matthew 5:14-16