THANK YOU ALL SO VERY MUCH! You are appreciated by so many!
Though these photos are from a Civil War reenactment my thoughts traveled to times past all the way to our present days. Brave men and women have given their lives for our freedom. I’m proud to be an American. Proud of our armed forces who put their lives on the line or have suffered loss. I applaud you this day. Thank you men and women of courage and sacrifice!
Enter His gates with thanksgiving. And His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him and bless His name. Psalms 100:4
Step spritely into the new day dawning. Bumpy country roads, sleek highways, valleys, and mountains topped with snowcaps await your awe. How Father God delighted in creating every crevice and sculptured rock formation, as well as hot sandy deserts, brush stroked with copious color schemes reflecting off each unique terrain.
Oceans surge with power and life, reflecting it’s mood with each twist and turn of the weather or spin of the moon. Such stunning sights take our breath away, cause us to stand on tip toe and gasp at the immense sheer wonder of His creation. The measure of our fascination and appreciation cannot comprehend His colossal thrill over…our smile…
His ecstasy is not dampened by our limitations, for God is JOY, LOVE, and PEACE in the extreme! He experiences the highest, most delightful, undiluted, and uncontaminated thrills over our praise and attention.
We offer so little. He bestow so much. Audaciously allow yourself to nearly burst with heart pounding gratitude for all He has done. For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of the light (for the fruit of light consists in goodness, righteousness, and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Ephesians 5:10
Do enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise, give thanks to Him and praise His name. Sure we cannot imagine the thrill He experiences, but isn’t it wonderful to TRY…
Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who did not know Joseph. And he said to his people, “Look, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we, come, let us deal shrewdly with them, lest they multiply, and it happen, in the event of war, that they also join our enemies and fight against us, and so go up out of the land. Exodus 1:8 - 10
Just to imagine the jealousy and evil intent of the Egyptian king, who thought Israel might become a problem, is mind boggling to me. His taskmasters sent to afflict Israel, burdened them with mortar, brick, and backbreaking work in the fields. Yet, Israel flourished and increased in numbers, tormenting Pharaoh and all Egypt anew with increasing fear. Dread of Israel motivated Pharaoh to fall to the lowest levels of all. He demanded that the Egyptians murder the Hebrew male babies by tossing them in the Nile—Egypt’s symbol of regeneration of life.
But, when Father God wants something done, the same will be accomplished. The rich history and scripture of Exodus makes that fact obvious. Pharaoh sensed that something dangerous and destructive to his kingdom and rule lingered on the horizon. Yet, for all of his selfish efforts he remained blind to that threat. He had no inkling of what was to come.
A three-month-old infant rested in an ark of bulrushes nestled among the reeds of the river Nile when Pharaoh’s daughter decided to adopted the Hebrew baby. The one Elohim destined to be Israel’s deliverer! The reeds, how symbolic of Moses life. These plants are slow growing and are often found in infertile soil. Evergreen, but not flashy in appearance or color. One could say humble looking. The reeds have sets of three leaves situated three times along the stem and the fruit has three sections with many seeds.
The Moses of the Bible, is extremely humble. Though he’d been raised in Pharaoh’s royal household, privileged with training and favor, he later became a shepherd—an occupation looked down upon by Egyptians. Once Elohim sent Moses to deliver Israel from slavery, there were many Hebrews who didn’t have fertile soil in their hearts to accept the Lord’s blessings and rule. The reeds by the river Nile and the repetitive number of groups of three leaves symbolize the Trinity to me. The fruit of the reeds has three sections with many seeds—that equates to God’s multiplication, in my opinion. Old Testament Jews and New Testament Christians alike have been blessed by the seeds of truth and love provided by Elohim’s design for centuries.
Doesn’t it seem as though God’s own thumb print is present here for anyone to see? As though He chuckled as he prepared a way for Israel’s redemption! He alone is the Lord of order and might. Who can stand in His way? No one. Pharaoh proved clueless to God’s involvement all around him though he jealously watched, dreaded, and chose evil solutions. My daily longing is to be aware of Him and joyfully follow His lead. To be the planting of the Lord in any location. So, what about you, have you noticed what God is up to in your life lately? Just look around, but especially, look up and see.
The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, And He delights in his way. Psalm 37:23
“It is the image of nothing in the heavens above, or the earth beneath, or the waters under the earth.”
In March of 1862 a surprising battle along Hampton Roads, Virginia coastline brought unexpected changes to future naval conflicts. Earlier in the fall, a decision needed made. Lincoln held a pasteboard model of John Ericsson’s ironclad and stated, ‘All I have to say is what the girl said when she stuck her foot in the stocking. It strikes me there’s something in it.’ The USS Monitor, also called “Ericsson’s Folly” by the press, sported a nine-foot-high revolving turret and was covered with iron plating. The Navy Department agreed to build Ericsson’s design, because confederates had refitted the USS Merrimack frigate into an ironclad called CSS Virginia and it threatened to wreak havoc with the Federal fleet.
At first John Ericsson was passed over and turned down by jealous or shortsighted men when he’d offered his design. This could partially be because he’d developed what appeared to be an impossible solution. Yet he wisely took the doors that were pried open by circumstances and the need inherent from war. The USS Monitor proved a worthy opponent for the CSS Virginia and for a time thwarted the destruction heading toward northern ships.
Life can be difficult and people can oppose our best inspiration and offerings because of selfish insecurities or fickle favor. When we dare to believe and take action by sharing our skills and extending ourselves to better the world, we are rewarded. Strength and character that would never have been, becomes a reality. Hang on until you meet your Lincoln. Ignore negative press and resist the manipulation of those distorted by jealousy. Uncertainty could hinder your purpose, causing the future to seem impossible to predict, making the risk of being vulnerable in sharing your unique ideas cloudy at best. Still, I urge you to press on!
During that battle, so long ago on March 7th through the 8th, 1862, smoke wreathed the ships as the battle raged. Yet decisions still needed made, despite hindered visibility. Lives were saved those days that wouldn’t have been if Swedish-born marine engineer John Ericsson had not been tenacious. His confident presentation of his vessel, his resisting the insults and hostile publicity by the press shows his courage, as he continued to move forward. The world took note as they received news of the North and South’s ironclad vessels engagement. Don’t hold back. Share your unique gifting and insights, always looking to Father for direction and strength.
For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. Proverbs 23:7a
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. Philippians 4:8
Let’s pray. Father, may we seek Your face and allow the talents You prepared in advance for us to develop and share be used to bless those You love so well on this side of Heaven. Precious Father may we work together and enjoy the journey. Amen
Witness To The Civil War First-Hand Accounts from Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper, Smithsonian, Copyright © 2006 HarperCollins Publishers, page 59 Chapter 3.
For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice, but what I hate, that I do” Romans 7:15
Baffled and disappointed again. How I wish to change. I desire to stop this or begin that. Oh, to give the right reply to the wrong attitude or inquiry. If I could I would, but alas, it seems that I cannot. Fear assails my senses, will all the energy I apply and knowledge I glean not be enough for the situations to be faced?
Not unless, I find a strength that is greater than mine, wisdom unfailing and sure. Can I discover grace and truth that can sustain me though rough waters and changes and trials? What of separations and unbelievable disasters—are there books or acquaintances that can shore up my weaknesses and allow me to succeed in my personal strength like so many heroes of old?
Nay, for I’ve tried, struggled, and fought to overcome my weaknesses. Abundant disappointments bubble up plentifully. Yet to find that no condemnation will weigh down those who do not walk after the flesh, but after the Spirit sets hope to flight once more. Freedom is had when my thoughts and affections are focused upon Him, the One who gave His life, love, and prayers on my behalf. He intercedes still, whether the night is silent and calm or the moaning tempests are blowing and destruction is at my elbow.
In essence, the truth is that I cannot stop this or start that in my strength alone. Only in Jesus can I accomplish eternal triumph and enjoy leaping upon my mountaintops as the hind. I’m thankful that I can’t—for I would if I could. But I can’t so I shan’t do it in my strength, which after all is limited and vain and a stumbling block to the ornate door of pride. Let every portion of glory and praise and adulation be His alone!
Yet, I will exult in the Lord, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation. The Lord God is my strength, and He has made my feet like hinds’ feet, and makes me walk on my high places. Habakkuk 3:18 - 19
Lord – 30681 Yehôvȃh from 1961 (the) self-Existent or Eternal; Jehovah, Jewish national name of God.
God- 4302 ’ĕlohîym el-o-heem’ plur. of 433; gods in the ordinary sense; but spec. used (in plur. thus, esp. with the art.) of the supreme God; occasionally applied by way of deference to magistrates; and sometimes as a superlative: angels, X exceeding, God (gods) (dess, -ly) X (very) great, judges, X mighty.
1 & 2 Abingdon’s Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the BIBLE, Forty-third printing 1984
Let’s pray. Dear Father, our Lord and God, I pray we will be the ‘I can’ and ‘will do’ for You and Your glory and for the Kingdom of Heaven. In Jesus Name, amen.
“Why are you cast down, O my soul” And why are you disquieted within me?” Psalms 42:5a
Tempted to worry, corralled by circumstances, and hemmed in by expectations or deadlines? I feel the painful struggle and weight of this. Though not an every-second of everyday burden, each moment my mind grapples with the stink of disquiet, is time spent away from peace and faith. Then the guilt of not walking in faith, hooks my thoughts to drag me further from calm gratitude and tranquil musings.
I’m sure that Abram felt a gnawing in his gut, as time slipped through his fingers without an heir, the one that God had promised. Everyone else had children – on time. Had he or Sarai misstepped? So, providing the Lord a bit of assistance, Ishmael was born of Hargar and strife mounted, continuing to this day. King David’s own son, the handsome, intelligent and very offended Absalom, betrays his father and seeks his death. And then there is Ruth, who came to the land of Judah with Naomi, her grieving mother-in-law. Ruth left her familiar customs and relationships to follow her worrisome, Israelite Mother-in-law, before she knew how they would support one another. Would she be accepted or a social outcast? Would neighbors be suspicious of her or befriend her?
These are just a few examples of “if ever there was a time to worry”. Just because we are His does not mean that we are without difficulties. We can avoid some problems, if we listen to His still small voice, but that does not erase all trials, suffering or waiting.
Those individuals mentioned above struggled with different circumstances, yet they had something in common. Tenaciously. They held on to Him, though they questioned why—probably more often than we know. Thought-provoking battles must be fought, there is no getting past that. When the heat of contention, unbelief or disillusionment attack—don’t fawn over the lost instants swamped by negativity and doubt. Take note of the half-second when you looked to Him the Author and Finisher of Our Faith and held on for even a millisecond. Realize what the bulk and sway of your thoughts are and choose to stand in His strength—that is victory. No we are not strong enough. Life makes us weary and weakens our resolve when we try to serve in our strength. Remember, “You (God) will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You. Because he trusts in You.” Isaiah 26:3 When our world rocks back and forth under our feet, ask this, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief.”
Take heart dear one, your moments are before you, as are mine. We can choose to seek Him. “As the deer pants for the water brooks, so pants my soul for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God?” Long for time well spent with Him and if you do not yearn for His presence, why not ask Him for the desire to desire Him. He is faithful.
The Lord will command His lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night His song shall be with me—A prayer to the God of my life” Psalms 42:8
Writing devotions puts me in our Father's presence. My heart, mind, and spirit are focused on Him.