“This is what the Lord says: ‘Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls…’” The crossroads. A time of decision. If we just look for the paths that were taken by saints of old. The paths so clearly marked in Scripture. Then we will find the good way. And our souls will be at rest. Looking forward to a weekend of rest visiting a friend in California~A weekend where I will rest my souls in His Word and learn to be a Woman of Simplicity. A day of inspiration to grow you in your faith~appearing at the Internet Cafe.
Share: Share what you have enjoyed. Everything that breathes, Giving testimony to His greatness only, Bless the Lord, the Maker of all, With the angels we must fall to our knees. Even the rocks cry out His name, All creation sings His praise! A beautiful song of praise to the Lord, the maker of everything. All things give Him praise in their existing. The song was sung by the Celebrant Singers (wish I could upload it for you to hear). Giving thanks to the Lord for His blessings from this week: 451) for time to have relaxing talk with our guys–true joy 452) for my second-grade student making progress in reading 453) for how the Lord reveals a nugget of truth during our women’s time of sharing–heart truth 454) for watching my second grader spin a hula hoop round his body with glee 455) for laundry done and dishes washed; for tasty food on the table and family gathered round 456) for our second grade class winning the science project fair 457) for rocky road ice cream 458) organizing my desk and decorating with a hot pink, ribbon glued pen and pencil holder–totally 459) for hearts of friends to share, and love, and pray 460) for meeting with another Christian writer–here in my own town. Making plans to possibly form a group of Christian writers to encourage and guide each other. Fun times with a purpose. May you see His blessings each moment of each day in your life this week. Joining the Gratitude Community at Ann Voskamp’s Multitude Monday. Share: Share what you have enjoyed.
“Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord.” Habakkuk 3:17 NIV
To that list, I add–if there are no blossoms on the orange tree, and if the lemon tree is dead, yet will I rejoice in the Lord A few weeks ago, Southern Arizona was hit by a hard freeze with temperatures dropping into the teens overnight. Unheard of since we have lived here. Almost the lowest in recorded history.
While the romantic in me was stirred by the idea of winter cold temperatures and cuddling by roaring fires, the gardener in me was distraught over the possibility of losing the fruit trees we had nurtured through the years. A few of my recent posts have even focused on the sweet taste of home-squeezed orange juice. (Hubby loves to make lemonade.) Mom’s orange loaf bread is a treat we count on each year and lemons are used in many of our recipes. We even share our bounty with friends, neighbors and coworkers.
While I write, I hear the whir of the juicer downstairs. With each pulse of the machine, the last drops of this year’s limited lemon crop are being extracted. Soon Hubby will bag and freeze the juice for wet summer refreshment when the temperatures soar to 110 or more.
So what happens if we have no citrus trees next year? What happens if our17 years of hard work and nurturing is all wiped out in just a week? What happens if the heady fragrance of citrus blossoms is missing from our yard and the juicer no longer whirs? We will rejoice because the Lord is still Lord and He is with us to provide for our every need.
The fruit trees, though deeply appreciated, are simply an analogy of how our lives can change suddenly. Losses in this life are guaranteed. Those we love will leave our arms some day and there is no replanting of their lives. We also will go through trials–this, too, is guaranteed. Jobs are lost, homes are foreclosed, children break parents’ hearts with their choices, sickness ravages our lives.
“In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 17:33 b NIV
The Lord encourages us because He is there with us through the loss and pain. And by His grace, we will overcome. He will heal our mourning and losses. Because of this we can rejoice in the midst of our trials.
“I will turn their mourning into gladness; I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow.” Jeremiah 31:13 NIV
Perhaps we may have to plant new trees. But here in the midst of this scarcity, a bird has built her nest. A reason to rejoice in the midst of loss.
May you feel the comfort of the Lord no matter what loss you may be going through at this time.
Linking with other inspirational thoughts at Spiritual Sundays and a Scripture and a Snapshot.
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The evening sunset filtered through dry, stick-like trees painted a picture reminiscent of the Sahara Desert. The thermometer hovered around 82 degrees today. In February. The record for today~85. Just two weeks ago, the temperature plummeted to 18 degrees at night~one degree away from the recorded low in the 1800s. With extreme cold and high temperatures and no rain, we are dry.
Yet in the midst of this desert, the Lord God has given us a reason to rejoice. He has made the sky his palette once more, filling it with crayon colors of raspberry, peach, salmon and pale orange.
This photo demonstrates how the Lord works in our lives. Trials will come, and the burdens seem grave. We trudge through the pain just pleading with the Lord to change our circumstances, change our lives, change those around us, change us–just get us out of this pit. And, then, while we are wallowing in the mud pit, He comes to meet us. He offers a hand to rest in, a heart to lean against, the comfort of His embrace, friends to encourage us. But so typical of the Lord, He offers us a gift~an unexpected blessing in the middle of our slime and gunk. A blessing that brings hope, light, peace, and an assurance that He is still with us and loves us.
He is our strength and hope. Our all in all.
“During the forty years that I led you through the desert, your clothes did not wear out, nor did the sandals on your feet. You ate no bread and drank no wine or other fermented drink. I did this so that you might know that I am the Lord your God.” Deuteronomy 29:5 &6 NIV
Where do you see the Lord in the midst of your trial?
Joining the Internet Cafe Devotions Word-Filled Wednesday.
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Last night, we celebrated our Valentine’s Day event with a midwestern style roast, Italian wedge-shaped potatoes baked in the oven and a homemade chocolate cake. Well the cake was from a mix but the frosting was more than homemade. It took two recipes to find the right consistency for the semi-sweet chocolate frosting. While I planned on posting the picture of the cake decorated with candy hearts and hugged by Valentine Hershey kisses, I forgot and began serving the cake. Smooth, light, fluffiness swirled with creamy rich chocolate tantalized our taste buds. Washed down with cold milk, refreshing conversation among friends and family, and a good movie, the evening was complete. Until I went to wrap the leftover cake and realized I had forgotten to take the picture. I quickly grabbed my camera, stood on a kitchen chair, and focused downward (after cleaning up some extra chocolate crumbs). It was then that the fullness of the post came to me. In order to know the goodness of the Lord, we have to taste it. And knowing the heavenly smoothness, the soft, creamy texture of His love, then we serve it up to others. His love, kindness, and goodness are meant to be shared–not just admired. When we have experienced His goodness, we are so delighted with the experience and taste, we want to lavish it upon others–to pass it on.
Today, as you dive into the chocolate, remember the Lord’s goodness, and share not only the chocolate but a good Word with a friend. Allow them to taste the goodness of the Lord, not just long for it.
Thank you, Lord, for blessings this week that filled my cup to overflowing:
441) for a visiting friend from Minnesota who filled our home with warmth and laughter 442) for restoration 443) for sisters in the Lord, who pray for me through the night til my pain is relieved and joy is restored 444) for friends of the heart who are never too far away to share your burdens 445) for the opportunity to minister to another in need 446) for school fundraisers at the best deli in town 447) for Reuben sandwiches piled high with pastrami and free soft serve ice cream while we waited for our order 448) for kids giving hugs and calling my name at the deli 449) for yummy dinners all week
450) for games at night, movies to relax by, fun stories to tell because of the joy of visiting friends
“O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusts in him.” Psalm 34:8 American King James Version
What joys topped your week?
Joining the Gratitude Community at Ann Voskamp’s Multitude Mondays Share: Share what you have enjoyed.