Category Archives: God’s Love

When Trees Clap Their Hands

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You will indeed go out with joy
and be peacefully guided;
the mountains and the hills will break into singing before you,
and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.

Isaiah 55:12

The scorching Georgia heat radiated off the black tar of the parking lot where I stood waiting to meet my son. He was running late, and I was quickly running out of patience. To make the most of the delay, I pulled out my cell phone to check emails. But as soon as I read the first sentence, the sickening sight of a blank screen and dying battery appeared, and my frustration level escalated.

I felt a slight, welcomed breeze blow through my hair as I looked for a shady place to sit, and I glanced toward the sky to see if a summer storm might be brewing. That’s when I noticed the lone tree topped with limbs forming a perfectly shaped cross. The beautiful scene stopped me in my tracks as I felt God nudging me with a reminder that my day had been so jammed with appointments and to-do lists, I had not taken time out for HIM.  He too had been waiting for His child to meet Him…and she was too busy.

“Holy goosebumps” tingled from head to toe as I felt God bending down reminding me to align my priorities appropriately. He paused my schedule right there in the blazing hot parking lot to send me a sign of His love. The tree He destined as my messenger also served as my shade from the scorching sun. I remembered the verse from Isaiah,

“You will indeed go out with joy and be peacefully guided; the mountains and the hills will break into singing before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.”

Joy and peace were blatantly absent from the hours leading up tho this moment, but my frustration melted into joy while I treasured this heaven-sent gift. I did not schedule this divine appointment, but I am so thankful that He interrupted my chaotic life with a holy meeting.

I pray that God will open your eyes and ears to the sights and sounds of mountains singing and trees clapping their praise to Him…or growing their limbs in the shape of a cross! Make your time with Him a priority, and He will fill you with joy and guide you peacefully through your day.

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I Am…and so are YOU

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Butterfly in Hands

“But by the Grace of God, 

I am what I am…”

1 Corinthians 15:10

I am…

I keep a list in my journal which I have entitled “I am…” I add to the list as I read God’s word and come across verses that remind me of who “I am” as a child of God. Sometimes during my quiet time, especially when I am feeling less than significant, I turn to the list and read aloud, taking time to grasp the meaning of each phrase as it pertains to my relationship with my Heavenly Father. No circumstance will ever change the way He feels about me. By reminding myself of who I am in Christ, I am encouraged, inspired and energized to begin my day living out the divine purpose for which I was created.

…and so are YOU!

The beauty of the list is that it is not unique to me. Anyone who is a child of God is included in these promises. He cares about EACH of His children the same way. Below are a few items on the list. Read them out loud to yourself as His child, taking time to absorb the significance of each phrase. Before you read each phrase, repeat the words, “I am…” to personalize them to your relationship with your Heavenly Father. These promises capture a glimpse of the essence of how God feels about you, and they are all found in His word.

                        “I am…”

  • Created for a unique and special purpose
  • Fearfully and Wonderfully made
  • A unique workmanship hand crafted by God
  • A precious and treasured possession of my Heavenly Father
  • Valuable
  • Forgiven
  • Secure in Him
  • A Child of the King of Kings
  • Ransomed, Redeemed and Saved by Grace
  • Shielded and Protected by God and His Angels
  • Bought with a price
  • Accepted in His Son
  • Surrounded by God
  • Engraved upon His hand
  • The apple of His eye
  • Quieted and Comforted With His Love
  • Rejoiced over with joyful singing
  • The one in whom God takes Great Delight
  • Chosen by the God of the Universe
  • Gently Led by God
  • Loved Eternally by my Heavenly Father

“See I have engraved you on the palms of my hands;” Isaiah 49:16

God’s Help When You’re In Over Your Head

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Bottomless sea

A personal message from your Heavenly Father:

“But now, God’s Message,
    the God who made you in the first place…
    the One who got you started…:
“Don’t be afraid, I’ve redeemed you.
    I’ve called your name. You’re mine.
When you’re in over your head, I’ll be there with you.
    When you’re in rough waters, you will not go down.
When you’re between a rock and a hard place,
    it won’t be a dead end—
Because I am God, your personal God,
    The Holy of Israel, your Savior.
I paid a huge price for you…:
That’s how much you mean to me!
    That’s how much I love you!
I’d sell off the whole world to get you back,
    trade the creation just for you.”

Isaiah 43:2 – 3 (MSG)

So today if you are experiencing deep waters of difficulty, and you feel like you’re in way over your head, don’t be afraid and don’t lose hope. God knows you by name, and He knows every messy detail of your life. He’s right beside you in the rough waters, and He will bring you safely through them ~ You will not go down. This feeling you have, like you’re between a rock and a hard place, is only temporary. God has big plans for your future, and He can use everything you’re experiencing for your good. Your Savior paid a huge price just for you ~ That’s how much you mean to Him! That’s how much He loves you! Trust that He is capable of bringing you through this tumultuous period. Nothing is impossible for Him, and there is no limit to the boundless strength He can provide for you. With Him by your side, you can endure anything.

“Try to remember that the ‘bottomless sea’ can’t hurt us as long as we keep on swimming”…with God!

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  • “Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine. When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.” Isaiah 43: 1 – 3 (NLT)
  • “When hard pressed, I cried to the Lord; he brought me into a spacious place. The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?” Psalm 118:5-6 (NIV)
  • “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11(NLT)
  • “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” Romans 8:28(NLT)
     

The Door To Your New Life

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Open Door to Your New Life

“Look! I’m making everything new.

Write it all down—each word dependable and accurate.”

Revelation 21:5(MSG)

On the first day of a brand New Year, are you looking forward to closing the door on your past and opening the door to your future? Perhaps you are glad for the chance to breathe in the freshness of the new possibilities that the coming year might bring. Are there pages (or entire chapters?) that you would like to delete from your life’s story? “My response is to get down on my knees before the Father, this magnificent Father who parcels out all heaven and earth. I ask him to strengthen you by his Spirit—that Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite him in.” Ephesians 3:14 – 17 (MSG)

By opening the door of your life to Christ, He promises to bring about a glorious transformation inside of you, and you’ll be renewed from the inside out. There’s no better way to start out the new year than by accepting the gift of a fresh start with God. He alone can erase the pain of your past and the mistakes you’ve made along the way. You don’t have to spruce up for God or clean up your act before turning to Him. He meets you right where you are with His limitless love and grace. By inviting Christ to be the center of your life, He’ll be the compass guiding you along the path to your very best future.

“So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.” Romans 12: 1-2 (MSG)

Now take a deep breath, close the door to your past, open the door to your best future, and step through to a new life with God!

  • “In the same way I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born,” says the Lord. Isaiah 66:9 (NCV)
  • Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2(NIV)

Hope of all Hopes

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Hope of All Hopes

“Hope of all hopes, dream of our dreams,
    a child is born, sweet-breathed; a son is given to us: a living gift.
And even now, with tiny features and dewy hair, He is great.
    The power of leadership, and the weight of authority, will rest on His shoulders.
His name? His name we’ll know in many ways—
    He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Dear Father everlasting, ever-present never-failing,
    Master of Wholeness, Prince of Peace.”

Isaiah 9:6 (VOICE)

What an amazing birth announcement this beautiful passage describes ~

A child is born.  Sweet breathed, living gift to the world. Hope of all hopes. Dream of our dreams. Even with his tiny features and dewy hair…He is Great.

His name?  He will be known by many names: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Christ the Lord, Dear Father Everlasting, Ever-present Never-failing, Master of Wholeness, Prince of Peace, Messiah, Son of God…Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins.

The good news about Jesus is that He came for ALL…even the least of the least ~ the plain, the ordinary, the sinners, the misfits, the outcasts. He came for YOU! Jesus is your gift from God. As we celebrate the birth of our precious Savior, thank God for His living gift to the world!

  • “And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Luke 2:9 – 12 (NIV)
  • “For God so loved the world, that he gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 (NIV)

God Colors

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God Colors

“I am the light of the world.
Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness,
but will have the light of life.”
~Jesus
John 8:12 (ESV)

My family and I recently took a trip to explore a huge, underground cavern called “The Lost Sea,” so named because at the bottom of the .75 mile cavern is the world’s second largest underground lake. As our tour descended further and further into the dimly lit cave I was amazed at the enormity of this geological formation inside the earth. At one point our guide stopped the group in a gigantic, cavernous “room” and began to explain its colorful history, describing the types of people this room had housed throughout history: including Native Americans, Civil War soldiers, even Roaring 20’s prohibitionists.

As I was imagining the types of activities which might have taken place right where I stood, the guide told us to remain still for a moment as he turned out the lights. My husband, son and I huddled close together to prepare for this experience. Once the lights were extinguished, there was absolute and total darkness. Deep under the earth, in complete absence of light, I could not see my own hand in front of my face, and without any visual point of reference I began to feel unsure of my footing, even though I knew my feet were planted firmly on solid earth! It was an especially eerie experience to know that my loved ones were standing right next to me, holding hands to steady each other, and yet my eyes could not perceive them…even faintly.

What a big relief when the lights were finally turned back on! As my eyes readjusted to the light, I was amazed at how colors began to pop out at me. The walls and ceiling of the cave seemed to sparkle from the light. The path ahead and my surroundings were once again visible, and my anxious feelings during the brief moment of darkness were calmed.

Jesus tells us in John 8:12, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” Jesus brings the light of life to all mankind, and His light ensures that we will never have to stumble in darkness. His light illuminates our path, shines His truth into every situation, and removes the darkness of sin from our lives.

As children of God, we reflect the blazing light of our Savior into the dark corners of the world, bringing out the “God Colors” for others to see. The world is watching how we respond to tense situations, how we treat our family members, how we provide care and comfort to others in need, how we bow our heads to say our blessing of gratitude before a meal, and overall how we live our lives. As the light of Christ shines through our lives in each situation, the God Colors begin to sparkle. God’s presence in our lives is not a secret to be kept, and as His children, our best way of drawing others to the Light of the World is by letting the brilliant light of our Savior shine in our everyday lives.

So let your light shine brightly and reflect the divine God Colors throughout the world!

Every New Day is a Second Chance

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Every New Day

 

 

“Yet this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope:
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
His mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
Great is Your Faithfulness!”
Lamentations 3:21 – 23
 

Every sunrise serves as a shining ray of hope, reminding God’s children about His inexhaustible supply of love and mercy ~ they are new every morning.

To fully comprehend this continually renewable resource of divine mercy, here are a few ways to define it:

  • kindness or help given to people who are in a very bad or desperate situation
  • a blessing that is an act of divine favor or compassion
  • kind or forgiving treatment of someone who could be treated harshly
  • compassionate treatment of those in distress

So if you’re in a desperate situation in need of a “second chance,” be encouraged to know that the Father of mercy compassionately dispenses daily acts of divine favor, and there will never be a shortage of His kindness and forgiveness. As constant as the waves rolling into the seashore, His mercies are new every morning, and they won’t ever come to an end. The situation is never hopeless when you place your hope in the Great Faithfulness of your compassionate and gracious Heavenly Father.

“And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness” Exodus 34:6
 “The Lord within her is righteous; He does no wrong. Morning by morning He dispenses his justice, and every new day He does not fail, yet the unrighteous know no shame.” Zephaniah 3:5