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Morning Sky

Morning sky awakes

Gray, then red, orange, and white

Time for joyful praise!

Psalm 108:1 – 5 NASB

My heart is steadfast, O God;
I will sing, I will sing praises, even with my soul. Awake, harp and lyre;
I will awaken the dawn! I will give thanks to You, O Lord, among the peoples; and I will sing praises to You among the nations. For Your lovingkindness is great above the heavens, and Your truth reaches to the skies. Be exalted, O God, above the heavens, and Your glory above all the earth.

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Friday Wish

Silver-streaked gray skies

The smell of rain in the air

Perfect day to read

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Transitions: Peace for Fear

When I was a new believer, I would hear older “mature” followers say in response to troubles, “Jesus will make everything all right.” or “Just trust in God and all will be well.” This one really set my teeth on edge, “Give your heart to Jesus and He will take away all your troubles.”

I wondered the validity of those admonishments because I believed and I gave my heart. I said the prayer of faith. Why then did I have trouble? Why was I so afraid that things would never get better when a new problem arose? I even wondered if they knew what they were talking about.

Now that I am one of the “mature” believers, I catch myself before saying things like that. I never want anyone to think that trouble won’t come. Jesus promised that it would. He also promised that He would provide comfort and guidance through all of what life would throw at us (John 14 – 16). Jesus not only provided help in trouble, He prayed for our protection and for the Father’s love to be with us (John 17).

Trouble comes. Fear comes. Doubt rises. But our Champion is still praying for us. He is still watching over us. He is still loving us. He is our peace in every storm and when trouble rises, He is very near.

When Trouble Comes

Hebrews 7:25 (NIV)

Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.

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An Invitation to the Garden of Hope

Can you see our Savior

Kneeling in the garden

Lifting up His face

Painting a picture of hope and grace?

Praying to our Father to welcome us in

To the place where He calls us friends

To the place where love never ends.

Draw near to the garden

Listen to the prayer

Feel the love waiting there.

His arms are open wide

His hands extending

The invitation never ending,

“Come, draw near

Do not fear.

Love awaits you here.

Find your hope in Me.

In my garden you are free.

To love and be loved.

John 17

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The Parables of Our Lives: Praise Like the Trees

Have you ever wondered why trees grow tall?

Why they stand firm in spring, summer, winter, and fall?

They wave when the wind blows

They twinkle when it snows.

Trees cast cooling shadows in the summer heat.

They sprout leaves, bear fruit, shed leaves, and repeat.

In all that they do and all they provide

Trees are the quiet teachers of our lives.

They teach us to endure hard times and extend a helping hand

To set deep roots and care for our land.

They constantly remind us to spread beauty everywhere

To dance and wave with thankful praise even when in dispair.

Trees are gentle counselors who whisper in our ear

That hope is always near.

1 Chronicles 16:33
Then the trees of the forest will sing for joy before the Lord; For He is coming to judge the earth.

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A Candle for Christmas

She clung to the six inch candle as Pastor Will read the story of the birth of Christ. Graci was excited to participate in the candlelight ceremony this year. At six years old, she felt like a big girl because her dad told her she was old enough to hold the candle.

“You have to be very careful so that you don’t get burned by the wax,” Paul had instructed Graci on his left when he lit her candle before lighting his wife’s cancle on his right.

“I will be careful, Daddy,” Graci whispered fearing she would blow out the candle.

As Graci stared at the flame and listened to the Bethlehem story, she noticed the candle began to drip onto the paper protector surrounding the candle. She immediately straightened her back and hands to make sure the wax didn’t spill onto her hand.

Graci glanced up and saw her parents beginning to sing Silent Night along with the church. She began to sing along as she watched her parents lifting up their candles when the lights were dimmed in the church. Graci was afraid to lift her candle and stood very still with the candle extended a few inches in front of her.

Even though she stood very still, she began to feel drops of wax falling onto her fingers and the floor. “Oh, no,” she thought, “I’m going to get burned.” She then looked up at her dad with pleading eyes hoping he would open his eyes and look down at her, but he continued to worship and sing through the end of the song.

At the end of the song, everyone blew out their candles and began to file out of the service. Graci peeled the wax from her fingers and she rolled the wax into a ball as she walked with her family to the fellowship hall where they would have cookies and punch.

“What do you have in your hand there, Graci?” Paul asked as he saw her place the wax on her lap before picking up the cookie he’d placed in front of her.

“It’s the wax from the candle. You told me to be very still and I was. I still got wax on my hand. I’m sorry.” Graci murmured.

“You don’t have to be sorry, Sweetie. You didn’t do anything wrong. The candle was made with wax and when it is lit, it melts.” Paul explained kissing Graci on the top of her head.

Graci smiled up at her daddy and began to enjoy her cookies and punch.
I like this parable so much because it reminds me of a recent candle lighting service I attended. At the end of the service, I could see people peeling wax off their fingers and off the seat in front of them. I could hear the Lord speak in my spirit. “That’s how My people are suppose to be. You are the light of the world. If you are a light, you make an impact on the lives you touch. You are light in darkness and the warmth of your flame can be felt by those who come in contact with you.

Be a “candle”. People need what you have to offer.

BE A CANDLE
Light up a life with mercy.
Melt a hardened heart with a smile.
Light up a life with grace.
Melt a troubled life with guidance.
Light up a life with friendship.
Melt a rejected soul with a hug.
Light up a life with your love.
Melt a confused mind with understanding.
Light up a life with your care.
Light up a life with your warm embrace.
Light up a life with whatever you have to share.
Be a candle in this dark and troubled place.

merry-christmas

The True Light who gives light to everyone came into the world.
John 1:9
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14 Days of Blessings: Day 1

Christmas is coming! Christmas is coming! People in my town appear to be frantically shopping for the perfect gift while I am trying very hard not to ignore the season this year. 

I want more than streets lined with colored lights, beautifully decorated trees, and carefully wrapped packages. I want to see wounded hearts mended. I want to hear of lost sons and daughter returning home. And I want to see my family and friends become who they were destined to be. So I’ve decided to plant seeds of hope this year. 

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Destiny is Now

Step into your destiny
Reach for the hope of a brighter day.
LOVE is holding your hand.
He is gently guiding the way.

Stride toward the promise.
Yield to His invitation of rest.
LOVE is whispering your name.
He’s patiently waiting with His best.

Don’t be afraid to move.
LOVE has a plan just for you.
Your future of hope is now.
Step into your future and experience a life that’s new.

Light is shining on your path.
You don’t have to wait.
LOVE has opened His doors.
Your destiny can start today.

Come, descendants of Jacob, let us walk in the light of  the LORD.

Isaiah 2:5