Good morning dear ones,
What do you do with a monocromatic day? You know the kind that comes in shades of gray? Today, I made a decision to think about the blue sky above all these heavy, dripping clouds. Much like other situations where darkness seems to prevail, we get to choose to look up. I will start with agreeing with Psalm 34:1-3..."I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make its boast in the Lord; the humble shall hear it and rejoice. O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together."
Selah...pause and think about this! So, looking out my window I noticed an unusual sight. A herd of Buffalo grazing on the mountains east of us! They pass through only a couple of times a year and most times I miss seeing them. But, not this morning! Our granddaughter came running to tell us. I love surprises like this! When we open our eyes and are constant in giving thanks to God, we get to see wonderful things. Again, I had to look up to those high places to see those amazing creatures.
What are you going to do with the gray areas of your life? Worship is like adding touches of color to your days walk. As simple as saying, "Thank you Father." Keep in mind that He alone is our refuge, our deliverer and with Him there is no want. His eyes are upon us and He hears our cry. When we feel the crushing of trials and we carry the heavy burden of a brokenheart, He saves us!
Magnify the Lord in the storm. Magnify the Lord when all the color is drained from your day. When you are afflicted seek His healing touch. Bless the Lord at ALL times! Seek Him first and foremost and you will not want for any good thing. Because...He is able to keep you in all your ways.
Yesterday, I heard some good news that came out of the Paradise Fire in California. A family of ours not only lost everything they owned but the help that was to come through the insurance is delayed. Some money came for them so they went to the store to buy the necessary items they needed. Their young son clutched a rubber ball in his hands. It was the only toy he had in his backpac when they were fleeing for their lives. The ball fell from his hands and he cried and cried. People helped on hands and knees to find the ball under the shelving. Even some firefighters from Oregon came to help. Their kindness was impacting! They even purchased toys for the two children and the store helped with their needs. Favor from God and man, just what they needed.
What makes this story, though I am not able to convey all the details, is the outpouring of God's grace! The fire didn't take our families lives, like many others. Even with the hardened heart of the children's daddy, God still pours out his mercy. Our prayer is that God will use this tragedy to reveal the unfailing Love of Father God to them. That all the walls previously built to keep God out will come tumbling down in the power of His amazing Love. All for their good and for God's glory! Blue sky above the smoke filled sky of their lives.
Oh, isn't the Lord good to take time to pay personal attention to one heart at a time? We serve a personal God people! He is not a stone idol that cannot speak, see or hear. He is longing for an intimate relationship with each one of us. Praise His matchless name!
Sometimes we experience a meltdown. A place where we come to the end of ourselves. A place where we have no other arms to run to, but the arms of the Father. How many of you know what I mean? When nothing helps, nothing makes sense, what do you do with the gray?
I love to see how the Lord works through tragedy and brings those He loves to triumph through Jesus Christ. I love that He has done this very thing for me! I know there are others who were lost along with their possessions. Some still are missing in the heaps of rubble. A higher number than we would like to admit to knowing. So many are still waiting for news of their loved ones. The loss comes under the weight of the mightiest storm. Fire, wind, smoke.
How are we to handle this? All I know is what I can read about the lives of so many in my Bible, real people. In every case their refuge was found in seeking the shelter of God; whether King or pauper. Psalm 91:1-2 says..."He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall remain stable and fixed under the shadow of the Almighty [Whose power no foe can withstand]. I will say of the Lord, He is my Refuge and my Fortress, my God; on Him I lean and rely, and in Him I [confidently] trust!"
This is how to handle the fiery trials we meet. To become refined gold for the Kings purpose. We go through them and walk in the promise that God will be our shelter, our everything. Amen?
Today, I still tear up thinking about the mighty things God is doing, not only for our family in their time of need, but in many others. The stories vary. The devourer is constant. But, God is greater! We serve an awesome Lord! His plans are always good and bring us out of the pit into the Light of His grace. Give Him thanks today for all He has done in your life! Thank Him in everything. There is a silver lining out there. There is a rainbow of promise. You will find no greater Love than that of the Lord Jesus.
As you go on your way today, take time to reach out to others. Even the smallest expression of kindness will bring a smile to someone today. Give thanks. Be a blessing. We will return tomorrow as the Lord wills. Bless His name and exalt Him for He is worthy of praise! In the blessed name of Jesus, amen.
Abundance is...above are blue skies
Dear brothers and sisters,
If you offered someone a gift how would you feel if they refused it? Hurt. Disappointed. Sad. Confused. Especially when it was given in love and even made with your own hands. Rejection is real everywhere we look today. Even in my own life I have been brought up short when I realized how I rejected gifts from God. From a high wall, hardened heart, I have wondered why God wasn't blessing me too. What makes the difference?
This comes home to me today because this morning, very early, I felt impressed to give a hat and scarf that I made to a woman who frequents our cafe. She is in at least two times a day. Now that the weather has gotten cold, it would make sense to offer this gift to her. I did. She refused it. "I don't want or need it." was her reply. Period. Yet, I was taken back because she comes in obviously chilled in her thin jacket and sweatshirt and old pants. I wasn't feeling sorry for her, I just wanted to make her more comfortable. I let her know that if she changed her mind, it is hers. I went back home with deep sadness in my heart.
Thinking about this refusal, I began to pray. Here is what the Holy Spirit showed me. About myself; I have refused the gifts that God has brought to me because they didn't come in fresh, colorful wrapping and tied with a beautiful bow. Are you following me so far? My first thought was how I have complained about being lonely for almost 6 years now. Yet, never once did I stop to thank God for being my provider, supplying me with His grace while I troubled over these emotions. Thankful for His friendship that outlasts any I have known.
Things are different now and may never be what they were again. I used to be involved, surrounded by friends. Then, there came a fork in the road and I got to choose to follow Him. Today, I am so thankful for the path He has led me on! Not easy, not socially acceptable. But, I know without a doubt that He called me to His presence, without distractions and busyness.
Pain too has been a gift in disguise because in it I am able to lean all of my weight on Him. Jesus has shown to me His faithfulness. He listens to my complaints without turning His back on me. So, lonliness and pain have been my greatest teachers of the amazing grace in Jesus Christ bringing me to a deeper understanding. I treasure His will in my life. I believe He brings these things to allow me to experience the heart of the Lord.
Well, having said that, I must say that yes, it hurt my heart at this woman's refusal of a simple unwrapped hat and scarf. She has also refused my prayer for her in the past, during a trying time with cancer. Well, she doesn't know that she is still in my prayers. What has made her heart so hardened I can only guess. She has been hurt. Only Jesus can mend those wounds. He is trustworthy and now I understand why Jesus asked some people if they wanted to be healed and forgiven. We make the choice to respond with gratitude or turn away back into our darkness and pain. We can become bitter or better can't we?
Jesus led me this morning, I know. It revealed to me there are some who do not welcome the Truth and refuse to love it that they might be saved. They are led by a strong delusion, a misleading influence. We must not give up though! We do have the greatest gift to offer them. We have to keep offering as long as there is time. We have to hold fast to God's Word and live according to His instructions. Even if it means a small token to say we are thinking of them.
What is yarn compared to the gift of God's unfailing Love? What is a note reminding them that you are thinking of them, compared to the many times Jesus has knocked on the door of your heart? Stand firm. Hold fast. Offer the hope that is in you! Do not be afraid, He is with you.
"Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our father, Who loved us and gave us everlasting consolation and encouragement and well-founded hope through [His] grace (unmerited favor), comfort and encourage your hearts and strengthen them [make them steadfast and keep them unswerving] in every good work and word." 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17.
Thank you for bearing with me this morning. Please accept the gift of salvation today. Accept the daily presents, no matter how they come wrapped. Allow Holy Spirit to make you faithful in this journey. Stand in your faith in Christ. That leaning of the entire human personality on Him in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness.
Bless the name of the Lord with me today. He is worthy of our worship, all the time. Jesus will personally see to all that concerns you if you will allow Him the opportunity. Today, it may mean being still. God is so good! Bless you as you continue to give the riches of His grace to others. In the matchless, precious name of Jesus, amen.
Abundance is...receiving The Gift
Good morning family and friends,
When you woke this morning what was your attitude? Attitude is the state of mind towards something. It might be work, or paying the bills. It might be about what you will do now that your home was engulfed in flames. It might be due to an appointment with the doctor that you really don't want to go to. What is your state of mind?
Mine? Well, as you know me, a little tune was floating through my head before I even raised off my pillow. "Put on a garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness, lift up your hands and sing..." Do you know this one?
I am so grateful that the Holy Spirit speaks to me through songs. So, as I began to think about my attitude, not knowing what the hours ahead will bring, I thought of Colossians 3: 1-4. When everything around us is going right this is pretty easy to attain to. But, what if___________happens? What then will be your attitude toward that event? It is best to just jump right in there with worship. Only God sees your future, so trusting Him is vital to your state of mind.
"If then you have been raised with Christ [to new life, thus sharing His resurrection from the dead], aim at and seek the [rich, eternal treasures] that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds and keep them set on what is above (the higher things), not on the things that are on the earth. For [as far as this world is concerned] you have died, and your [new, real] life is hidden with Christ. When Christ, Who is our life, appears, then you also will appear with Him in [the splendor of His] glory." Better read this again and let it sink in deep and take aim to claim it.
I see here that I am one of those accounted as a believer, thank the Lord. Looking at the treasures I have here on earth are nothing compared with the treasures of heaven! Jesus Christ is sitting on His Throne, in power. The more often I look away from the dirt on my feet and onto the beauty of Jesus feet, it is well with my soul. I am dead to the things of the world and risen with Christ into eternity, right now. Someday, Jesus will appear and on that day I will stand in His full glory!
Taking a deep breath, I find I am revived in my mind too. A new attitude of worship wells up and I can walk forward into the unknown because, I am known by the Father. Are you thankful for your new life in Christ? If you haven't yet made that decision, don't put it off for a later time. That burned out home, those doctor appointments cannot change the unfailing Love of the Father for you. Realize you can't fix yourself or really call up out of the ground true happiness. Our joy comes from our attitude of worship. Not our circumstances.
When I read the book of Psalms and see the heart of David for God, I am encouraged. He went through great trials and loss, yet, he worshipped the One and Only Who could save him. David found his heart enraptured with the glory of Almighty God. He knew where he stood. A humbled man. Once you begin reading about his life it is hard to stop. We get a glimpse into his mistakes, sorrows and triumphs. Not so different than our own journey is it?
As I glance through Psalm 95-99 just where my Bible is open, without turning pages, I see key words. "O come, let us sing; come let us worship; Sing to the Lord a new song and bless His name; The Lord reigns; Oh sing to the Lord a new song; shout joyfully to the Lord; The Lord reigns; the Lord is great." And it goes on. Today I will try to aim at this attitude! Will you?
It is like standing before a huge Sequoia tree. You begin at the bottom and let your eye gaze up and up, until you can hardly stand upright for the bending of your neck. It is so high you can not see the branches at the top. They reach up into the heavens and you begin to feel smaller and smaller. Now try touching you fingertips together. You can't reach around the mighty tree. But, you try anyway. I think this is a good picture of having an attitude of worship. You are invited to lift up your eyes anytime, anywhere. Your spirit will soon soar and your heart and mind will praise the One True and Living God! In the matchless name of Jesus we are free to worship, amen.
Well, it is time for me to leave you. Heartstrings is such a good place to find food for our souls. I pray that the Lord will bless you today as you take aim to worship Him with all of your strength and might. He will be your peace. Only set your eyes on things above. God bless you and keep you in His marvelous grace. Patricia.
Abundance is...when I look up
Dear brothers and sisters,
Isn't it wonderful to know that you are loved perfectly this morning? I knew I could count on the sun rising and even more, I can always count on the Love of Jesus to anchor me safely. He is the Rock that I cling to when my way is perilous and I am bewildered by my circumstances. They may change without my approval, as they often do. But, the Word of God, His Love gift, never will.
His eyes are on those who have placed their hope in His unfailing Love. You know how I end my time with you...Abundance is? For us to have an abundant life we must have hope. This is essential. When we indulge in false hopes we become disillusioned can't we? That person you thought would be there for you the rest of your life slips, it seems easily away. Your heart is broken and the search for a true love goes on. Why keep searching? Choose the object of your hope wisely. We can hope in His unfailing Love.
Psalm 33:18 says..."Behold, the Lord's eye is upon those who fear Him [who revere and worship Him with awe], who wait for Hm and hope in His mercy and loving-kindness." Now, I know what the fear of the Lord is! I didn't clearly understand before so this helps! This is unfailing Love. The way to return my love to Him is to revere and worship Him with awe!
This time of year, at least in America, people are beginning to think about the coming holidays. Sadly, many breeze by Thanksgiving and give no more thought to it. When we come together, we share a meal, time together and enjoy the day. Or, we should. No matter what is on the table, clasp the hand next to you and say, "Thank you for being in my life." Be sure that your time is spent encouraging one another, time to pray together. Because of God's Love we can share the gift with others.
From the first time you trusted Jesus as your Savior, nothing can ever separate you from His Love. Read Romans 8:38-39 with me..."For I am persuaded beyond doubt (am sure) that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities, nor thngs imprending and threatening nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anthing else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Praise the Lord! We have this guarantee! Written down for all time. Sealed in our hearts by the Holy Spirit. His unfailing Love never ends for you and I! Aren't you thankful?
I sense you may be fighting the battle of loneliness. You might think you have lost. It isn't easy to ignore when others are happily engaging with family and friends. Jesus understands and is still on the Throne, ready to wrap His arms around you. The enemy is a liar and is determined to kick at your hope. The bruises may still be felt from years past. Talk to the Lord and tell Him how you are feeling. Now, put those feelings aside into His keeping and rest in faith that He has a sweet plan for your life. Be healed in hope in the name of Jesus Christ!
When we follow His divine counsel through His Word we can enjoy the Peace that passes all understanding, in His presence. The Lord can see everything, and how the journey effects you and I. I believe when we place our hope in Him, we are especially blessed. We are precious to Him. Yes, there may be troubled times, but just knowing His is near makes the heart lighter. The good, the bad, at all times. Even today. Do you agree with this? Now, agree with His unfailing Love for you. It will change your outlook in amazing ways by knowing what He thinks of you. You are in His Love letter!
We read this week of devastating fires in California, lives and homes lost. They still rage on. We read about the attacks on our sister nation, Israel with the same horror. Wars, rumors of war. Terrible loss near and far away. His eyes are on us. Soon, we will reap the reward of placing our hope in His unfailing Love. We will see Him face to face and spend all eternity with Him. For now, we can rest knowing His eyes are on each of us. This is sometimes too deep for me to fathom. He is awesome and worthy of our praise!
2 Thessalonians 3:16 says..."Now may the Lord of peace Himself grant you His peace (the peace of His kingdom) at all times and in all ways [under all circumstances and conditions, whatever comes]. The Lord [be] with you all." Thank you Abba.
I recieve this peace Lord Jesus. Though my body and mind are weary and fatigue drain my energy, I look to you today. Take the heaviness weighing on my heart. I yield it up to You. Jesus, You are able to carry me today. I trust You. Thank You Lord for keeping your eyes on me and all that concerns me today. In the matchless, awesome Love of Jesus Christ, amen.
There is a picture of a lake with many colorful rocks here in Montana. Lake McDonald. When I see it, I am reminded that if I want to view the beauty of the Lord, I have to travel through His Word to find the treasures. They really are not hidden but, open to our gaze. We just have to look for them. If you prayed with me this morning, continue to tell Jesus what is on your heart. He will show you the treasures of His unfailing Love. The Lord bless you and keep you in His grace and favor, Patricia.
Abundance is...His unfailing Love for all
Dear family of God,
As we begin another day, lift up weary hands in worship. We have so many blessings. It seems the deeper the trial, the greater the blessings that flow from that trial. Haven't you found this to be true? When we focus on the Love of God, we are stronger. His peace passes all understanding as we put all our trust in Him.
1 John 3:1-2 says, "See how great a love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we shall be. We know that, when He appears, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him just as He is."
Oh, I am longing for that day! Are you? What an incrediable quality of love the Father has given each of us! The world just doesn't see. They haven't come to the place where they can see. At the end of theirselves. Just like we had to come with all of our weights and burdens of sin to the cross where we could be forgiven once and for all. This is Love.
Because we are made new, Colossians 3:12-17 shows us what to do with our new lives. "And so, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humbility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. and beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity."
There is no better time or place to begin than right now. Even on a Monday. Stop moaning. Get your feet on the floor and your hands in the air and go forward. The enemy would love nothing more than for christians to be idle. I am speaking to my own self now. I wanted to just stay in bed this morning. I had one of those nights where I was up and down all night. If I only look to how I am feeling I would have stayed there. But, I don't want to miss out on the things God has planned for today! So, the song "Great is thy faithfulness" got me moving in the right direction with the right frame of mind.
In verse 15..."And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful." There is is again...be thankful. Speaking gratitude to the Father is like getting the juice flowing again in a battery that was once depleted of energy. Holy Spirit revitalizing!
"Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God." Thankfulness to God and toward each other brings fresh life!
"And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father" What are you doing right now? Yes, I know, reading this. But, where is your mind traveling? All the plans we make for a day could be altered by one incident. Good or bad. It would be better to set them at the feet of Jesus and see where He takes us today, right? We can step out in faith.
Are you truly thankful that you are chosen by the Father? That you are redeemed by His Son? And, sealed and indwelt by His Spirit? Great is His faithfulness! For this I am most thankful. I know whatever the day brings, I am kept in His hands. You are too if you believe. Think of this, every minute of this day, we are being made ready to meet Him face to face. When He appears we will be like Him! The beautiful transformation begins when you give your heart to Jesus Christ. He will take your life and renew your mind so that you begin to walk in the way that pleases Him.
Jesus gave His all so we could enjoy all of His blessings. His presence. His healing. His protection. His guidance. His forgiveness. Now, you can go on with this list. It gets bigger and bigger and can never come to an end! Be thankful today. The Father's love is Great! Invite Jesus to be your Lord now. Do not wait to get your life together, that will never happen. Besides, haven't you noticed how much work that is? Wouldn't it be better to let the Master of Life lead you? Talk to Him right now. Invite His peace to cover you. He is waiting.
Thank you for joining me at Heartstrings. I pray that you find the Living Word to sustain your soul, like bread from heaven. God is so good. God bless you and keep your feet to the path of His choosing. In the name of Jesus, amen.
Abundance is...wrapped in the Father's Love