Friday, September 19, 2014

Waterfalls in Israel?


Deep calls to deep
    in the roar of your waterfalls;
all your waves and breakers
    have swept over me.
Psalm 42:7


This scripture was read in church the other day and I loved the poetry used by the Psalmist...
"deep calls to deep."
It describes the times we have trouble after trouble in never-ending succession.  You know the time(s); you've lived through them and have come out from beneath the pressure of the flow.  Instead of cursing God you may have offered yourself encouragement such as this Psalmist did so many years ago:


Why, my soul, are you downcast?
 Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God.

Psalm 42:11


Photo Credit: Daniel and Kate




Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Looking For Life in the Little Things


 This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life...
Deuteronomy 30:19-20

In trying to find encouraging words for friends with a child who has relapsed, this thought came to me in searching the Scriptures: Sometimes we can't see the forest for the trees.

This photo depicts life not death.  Even though there are seemingly dead trees all around, God is still allowing life to sprout.  There is a reason for everything that happens but we get so caught up in the occurrence that we fail to see God at work.  When it's our child, our emotions and intellect take over and begin to take reign. Encouragement is a distant friend.  

I'm looking at everything today as a privilege. Look with me for the little things.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Need Wisdom? Want Peace?


 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.  But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth.  Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic.  For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.  But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.   Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.
James 3:13-18

Don't look for the definition in Wikipedia...they misspell words and you get the world's wisdom and every other belief as well.  The Christian's view is presented and it's interesting to note what other faiths believe but they are not the kind that will bring peace to the world.  Many of the world's sins would vanish if we were less envious and selfish and more peace-loving and considerate, et al.




Thursday, September 11, 2014

Look Up


 I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
 where does my help come from?
 My help comes from the Lord
the Maker of heaven and earth.
Psalm 121:1-2

Though I have no mountains around me, I can remember the Tetons and the Smokies...so beautiful and majestic.  
Tell me again... who can make mountains?

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

His Little Flock


So don’t be afraid, little flock.
 For it gives your Father great happiness
 to give you the Kingdom.
Luke 12:32

Sheep would likely fall off a cliff if their leader directs them that way.  We are so like sheep, following the Leader of the Day. I've walked off a few cliffs in my day and feel really stupid after tending my wounds.
God wants us to follow Him as sheep do a shepherd.  He will provide for our needs if we only trust His guidance.




Monday, September 8, 2014

Level Ground


Teach me to do your will, 
for you are my God;
 may your good Spirit
 lead me on level ground.
Psalm 143:10


Though there is a bunch of Pretty in West TN, I miss the level farm land of Central Illinois.  You can see for miles across rows of crops...beautiful.
Life can be very hilly at times and it helps to pray for level ground to get my bearings.  Praise the Lord that He offers His Spirit to guide me there.


{I went to college with a Rudisill.  I wonder if this is a relation of his?  I'll have to check further.}

Friday, September 5, 2014

Keeping It Safe Inside


Guard the good deposit
 that was entrusted to you—
guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit
 who lives in us.
2 Timothy 1:14

The photo above is that of the Guttenberg Bible.  I don't think Paul was thinking of guarding the Word by putting it in an air-proof container to be observed by on-lookers. No, he had everyday life in mind...the life that can worry us, make us mad, destroy our joy and send us looking for answers to its many questions.  
Don't get me wrong.  I'm happy that the first book printed was the Bible.  Back then that actually meant something and probably to a greater percentage of people than it does today.  Today we are inundated with version after version of the Bible but so few have even taken it out of the box.  We take so much for granted and depend on ourselves for answers instead of going to the source of our strength...God, himself.  So many things can pull us away if we let them, so we need to guard the Word given to us...by reading it, memorizing it and then doing what it says.

Photo Credit: Peter Dutton




Thursday, September 4, 2014

Singing is Good


How good it is to sing praises to our God,
    how pleasant and fitting to praise him!
Psalm 147:1

Though I play the organ for church, I also get to sing in the choir.  It's been a long time since I've been in a choir.  By the time I get to church on Wednesdays, my mind is fried.  I've just taught piano to two young beginners and two teenage beginners and one lady my age who wants to return after years away from the piano...just like teaching a beginner.  I've thought too hard and I'm tired.  Supper and a Wednesday service precede choir practice...another two hours... so I'm really ready to go home but I stay instead and I'm always glad I do.  
There's something about singing that revives me.  It could be that we have the best choral director I've ever known, a good (usually) full choir, a great accompanist and excellent literature.  However, I believe it's the actual singing that lifts my spirits and awakens my soul.  I'm blessed to still have a little voice to praise God in song so I might as well use it.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Basics


The earth is filled with your love, Lord;
    teach me your decrees.
Psalm 119:64


The Bible is filled with this thought.
Laws are set in place and when they are obeyed, we can enjoy His love.  First, we have to want to know His decrees/laws/statues, etc.  Next, we have to read them.  Then, He will teach them to us because a teacher can't reveal hidden truths unless the student is willing to learn the basics.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Sleepless Nights


I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more.  But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after your body has been killed, has authority to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him.
Luke 12:4-5


Sleepless nights bring fears.  With all the world's evil, they creep in with the dark.
I work through them, realizing that I can do nothing about most of them and...finally...turn them over to God, who knows and controls everything.  With relief and comfort, I turn my thoughts to Him and realize that He has my back.  
Evil still exists but not in my bedroom.


Friday, August 29, 2014

Eyes


When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.
Genesis 3:6

It's the age-old bait and switch game played by the enemy.  "Just this once," "It won't hurt to try," It's not going to hurt you," No one will ever know," etc., etc., etc.
When I take my eyes off the Lord and put them elsewhere, I get into trouble and the evil one laughs...
but God cries.


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Blessings in Predictability


“Why were you looking for me?” he asked. 

“Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?”
Luke 2:49


It's nice to have a husband who is so predictable.  I don't have to guess where he is worry that he is doing something questionable.  I just go to his computer, look outside or go to the church...our other house.  Though our church building is not as dramatic-looking as the picture above, it's no less beautiful. 


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Everything, Sing


My mouth will speak in praise of the Lord.
Let every creature praise his holy name
 forever and ever.
Psalm 145:21

I love the songs of the birds and each one has his own.  Every day they sing the same song...the one given them by their Creator...and they sing, regardless.

Speaking and singing praise to God is an act of will for humans but many times life punches us and the only thing out of our mouths are complaints and curses instead.  David MADE praise come from his lips and in his songs (psalms), he encouraged others to do the same.  I must praise God, too...forever and ever, regardless.




Monday, August 25, 2014

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Almost


Blessed are the meek
for they will inherit the earth.
Matthew 5:5


This was almost us today at lunch.  As we finished, Bill was looking out into the woods as he does many times...in wait to spot a deer just beyond our property...and there she and her fawn were.  They took their time strolling through the woods with heads down.  Only once did she look up, didn't see us, and continued to feed.  I borrowed this photo from Rachel Kramer because it looked so much like what we saw...a special treat from the Lord.