Life is Beautiful

web-decker_2-trails-flowers1Running a red dirt trail in the still quiet morning hours, with rays of sunshine beginning to light the tips of the tall pines, I often wonder what is lurking beyond the reverent beauty before my eyes. As I run the path through the wilderness, I contemplate the spiritual symbolism of this path I am running on and that of the life we live.

Everything is seemingly picture perfect as I run this path, mile after continuous mile. The scenery is stunning green and gold foliage mixed with lavender flowers creeping through the tall weeds, wild daisies that seem to smile, and majestic pines that whisper in the wind.weimar-canal1 The rushing sound of the water along the trail is like a faithful friend running by my side. The crisp cool air of the early morning fills me with vigor and anticipation of a new day!

Running through this earthly paradise, I realize there are numerous dangers that I am not able to see or perceive. My limited vision won’t allow me to see all that surrounds me, as there is a canopy of camouflage that distorts the clarity of my vision. Often, I am startled by a lizard jetting beneath my feet, a squirrel scampering up a tree, or even a deer bounding through the brush. These animals may startle me, but in actuality are harmless. It is what I am not seeing that could potentially cause harm.

Scanning the horizon for a bear or lion is futile due to my inability to decipher what I am truly seeing as I pass through the forest. Eyes dart as they may, and peering into the brush, neck crooked, to see what a scuffle beneath the brush could be provides only a distraction, at best. How important it is to focus on the path straight ahead on the running trail and, yes, in our day to day living. “Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you.” Proverbs 4:25

How often our vision is obstructed by the world we live in. With a continual barrage of craziness that is dished out by the world and fed to us on a daily basis, it is no wonder it can be difficult to decipher the truth and depth of deception occurring around us. 1 Peter 5:8 says, “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” We must be aware and discerning, seeking Christ in all things and situations so we will not be deceived or overcome by the world’s godless ways. “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33

Lavender flowers, wild daisies, and tall pines with soft rays of sunshine provide a pleasant trail to trek, even though there are unseen dangers in the camouflaged forest. Keep your eyes straight ahead and focused on the path with Christ instead of the distractions of this world and you will see just how truly beautiful life will be.bridge

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Get Covered

praywithoutceasingIt wasn’t but a few short weeks and those darn stains were back and the carpet seemed as dirty as before, if not even worse! The spots weren’t lifting as easily as the prior scrub, so my mind began to formulate an alternative plan. We needed a type of covering to help keep the filth from getting into the carpet. The use of a clear carpet runner to cover the areas that were prone to stain would be helpful. Yes, a covering was needed to help remedy this problem from continuing to fester. Just as the carpet needed a covering to keep from stain and harm, how much more the children of God!

Let’s look at the meaning of the word covering. The English definition is, an object or substance that goes over or on top of something especially in order to hide or protect it. Source Merriam-Webster Learner’s Dictionary. Now let’s see what the Hebrew translations have to say. There are three Hebrew words we need to look at. Sakak, which means to overshadow, screen, cover. Kasah, which means to cover for clothing or secrecy. And, kaphar, which means to cover, purge, or make atonement for sin, make reconciliation. Source Strong’s Concordance.

praywithothersWhen we pray to our Heavenly Father, we are covered in prayer. Looking back at the above definitions we can derive from this the importance in having such a covering. For this reason, we are to have other believers that we can call upon for prayer. We need people we can be accountable to that will listen and lift us up in prayer, as needs arise. Romans 7:18 tells us, “For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh, for I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out.” When struggling with sin in your life, don’t go at it alone. The enemy wants to isolate and condemn you, and tell you how rotten you are. As you share with another in words and heartfelt prayer, the darkness will be brought into the light. You will enter into freedom as the Holy Spirit ministers to your very soul. Matthew 18:20 tells us, “Where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” With Christ you can overcome and will be victorious.

Philippians 4:6 tells us “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made know to God.” We are to pray without ceasing. Whatever is bothering you, upsetting you, causing you pain and misery, or confusion, bring it to the Lord. He will give you the strength and ability to deal with the situation. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 6:12. During our times of intense spiritual battle, we must unite in prayer with other believers by sharing our troubles and sin issues. The Lord will be faithful to hear your cry and deliver you from all your troubles. Psalm 34:17

wingscoverIn Psalm 91 of the Bible, the Lord provides us with a complete shield of protection that can only be found in Him. He promises in Psalm 91:4 “He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall find protection; His faithfulness shall be your shield and wall.” If we faithfully pray this prayer of protection, the Lord will be faithful to protect you and your loved ones from all wickedness and harm. What an awesome promise the Lord has given to us! Our hope is not is our own strength or wisdom, but from seeking divine protection from our Creator. Yes, the One who created the heavens and the earth will also take care of you. “Why, even the hairs of your head area all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.” Luke 12:7

The stains on the carpet are a consequence from an unchanged behavior pattern that is still occurring, that being, living life and making messes! These stains, like sin, are ever recurring as we live and make messes in our lives, some intentional and others unintentional, due to our sin nature. With God as our strength and refuge we will be victorious over sin and able to live a life that glorifies God. Enlist the help of other believers to pray with you. Do not be anxious about anything, but instead, pray without ceasing. And most importantly, pray the shield of God’s protection over the ones you love. You will be safe under God’s covering, for great and mighty is He.

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Clean the Stains of the Heart

Dirt, spills, and ground in unidentified particles make for a filthy carpet. Day after day the grim continues to spread and multiply, along with the guilt of not getting it cleaned up. The worse the carpet looks, the more ignored it gets, as if there is absolutely no hope at all to ever rid it of its stain. It is depressing to look at and an embarrassing way of life. Until, a choice is made to do something to change its condition. That feeling of putting something off that needs to be cleaned can be carried over to our spiritual life.

Down on my hands and knees scrubbing the filthy carpet stains, a sense of relief swept over me as the stains begin to lift. Pretty much all hope  was gone that this carpet would ever even appear remotely clean again. I had even gone so far as to buy numerous throw rugs in an attempt to cover and hide these filthy and embarrassing stains from the sight of others, as I was so disgusted by it all and the thought of what the possible ramifications would be when we move out of the home.  So, when to my surprise the stains began to vanish before my very eyes, my hope was restored and joy overflowed my heart and mind! There was a remedy for these stains, and I found it, and it worked!

As I continued to scrub, to my hearts delight, I began thinking about the spiritual symbolism of stains and sins in the human heart. How often we sin and don’t even know it. Add to that the wrong things we do, and say, and think, that we are actually aware of. And then, on top of that, all the sin we keep hidden in our hearts that we are too embarrassed or shameful to admit to others, ourselves, and our Lord God who actually sees it all.

The Bible says we are to take every thought captive to obey Christ, 1 Corinthians 10:5. We all have sin in our lives. We all have certain sin tendencies and areas of weakness that we struggle to overcome. Do you feel dirty and possibly embarrassed by your past? Do you wish you could free yourself of the stains you have acquired over the years? What about the consequences of living a life of sin? Would you like to be clean? In Isaiah 43:35 Jesus promises, “But I wipe away your sins because of who I am. And so, I will forget the wrongs you have done.” What an incredible hope we have in Christ! All that filth found in our hearts can actually be cleaned up with the right stain remover, JESUS. And what a relief it is when the filth and stains are gone.

jesus-poster-love-god[1]Hope!

Freedom!

Victory!

A changed life!

There is a section in the Bible referred to as the Romans Road to Salvation. It teaches and explains how Jesus died to cleanse us of our sins that we may be clean and have eternal life in Him. “Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.”

How to Accept Christ

The Romans Road to Salvation:

In the Bible, in the book of Romans, is a clear message to us; we need salvation. These Scriptures also tell us exactly what we need to do to be saved! Please take a moment to read through the Scriptures.

Romans 3:10 “As it is written, there is none righteous, not even one…”

Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

Romans 5:12 “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned.”

Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Romans 5:8 “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

Romans 10:9-10 “If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you shall be saved; for with the heart man believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth confesses, resulting in salvation.”

Romans 10:13 “For whosoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved.”

If you would like to accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior you must do what Romans 10:9-10 says. You just need to make this the prayer of your heart. Here is an example. You may use your own words.

Dear Lord Jesus, I come before you acknowledging You are Almighty God, Creator of the Universe. Please forgive me for all my sins now and in the past, (you may speak of specific instances that you would like to repent of and seek forgiveness). Please come into my heart and life and be my Savior. Thank you for dying for me and my sin on the cross. Please help me to seek You and draw near to You, and may You rule over my flesh, as I now turn to follow you. Please, become Lord of my life. In Jesus name I pray, amen.

Children-on-God[1]If you have just prayed this sinner’s prayer you are now a child of the One True King! Jesus has forgiven you and cleansed you of all sin. You are a new and clean person in Christ. He has wiped away all your stains and sins. You are free and victorious in Christ. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” John 3:16

                               To God be all the glory!

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Continue reading “Clean the Stains of the Heart”

Happy Father’s Day God

66201ba151a9717958f87070c5ac0245[1]Father’s Day in America is a day set aside to revere the dad in our life. It is a day we focus on our father’s and just how truly great they are. We rejoice in our Papa’s, give them gifts and words of praise, and barbecue in their honor. If we give this sort of praise to our earthly dad’s, how much more we should give praise to our Father in Heaven!

The Bible tells us that we are ALL children of God. “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!” 1 John 3:1 Think about what this truly means. What a heritage we have, as we are heirs of the One True King!

The scriptures reference our Heavenly Father as our Abba Father. The relationship we are to have with God is to be as that of a child to their dad. Abba is Greek for father and is used as the term of tender endearment by a beloved child – i.e. in an affectionate, dependent relationship with their father; daddy or papa as cited in the Strong Concordance. We are children of the God of the universe who created all things. “Yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.” 1 Corinthians 8:6

As we celebrate Father’s Day, let’s also remember and celebrate our Heavenly Father in heaven who loves us like no other. Matthew 23:9 says, “And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven.” Let’s rejoice, and give praise and honor to our Abba Father this Father’s Day. Happy Father’s Day, God!

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Run Your Race

trailflower

A good solid run is satisfying, as it is both mentally and physically challenging. It clears the mind, strengthens the body, and refreshes the soul. There are parallels in the physical exertion of running that can be carried over and applied to living life closely with Christ.

Running hills are strenuous, and depending on the elevation and terrain involved, can be down right grueling. Breathing heavily with muscles that are screaming, runners press on. They overcome by not giving in to the pain and exhaustion their body is feeling. They endure. And with every hill they climb their bodies get stronger. These are like the trials and tribulations of life. We must stay strong even when something in life appears to be too big, overwhelming, or daunting. We must choose to stay the course, trusting in Christ to keep us strong in Him. And with each trial He brings us through and each giant He has us overcome, our strength will increase. Philippians 4:13

Mountainous terrain can be dangerous. Rocks, loose granite or shale, sand or mud, creeks and cliffs, lizards that jet beneath moving feet, and snakes that slither are all a par for the course. To navigate such a trail you need a sure footing, or what the Bible refers to as hind’s feet. This can only come with time and continued experience out on the trail by logging in distance and overcoming challenging variables. It is easy to lose a footing or catch a toe on a rock, resulting in a fall that is physically painful or a hit to our pride. And, so it is with the Lord. As we run our race through life with Him, He leads us through perilous times that are difficult, hard to navigate through, painful and often times, humbling. With each challenge we grow and learn to persevere just as runners do on the trail, ultimately receiving spiritual hind’s feet as we stay on our life path with our Lord and Savior. Habakkuk 3:19

Whether it be on a damp foggy trail or parched desert terrain, the threat of dehydration is on every runner’s course. It can sneak up quickly, causing weakness and confusion, and can put a stop to even the strongest of runners. Totally preventable, every runner must hydrate. And, so it is in life. If we don’t quench our thirst, if we don’t drink from the Living Water of Christ, we will soon tire and lose focus as spiritual dehydration sets in. As you run the race of life, continue drinking in the truth found only in God’s word. You will stay the course and finish strong. John 4:14

The spiritual parallels between the physical run and the spiritual run of life are genuine. As hard as it may be, embrace the hills in your life. Better yet, conquer them! Keep a sure footing by gaining your hind’s feet. And, most importantly, stay strong in the Lord by drinking in His word. Let the Lord renew and refresh your soul. You will be glad you did!

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Keeping the Heart Hidden in God


Only a relationship with our Heavenly Abba Father will fill the human heart’s desire for love. Knowing Jesus our Loving Savior is like no other love.max lucado Be thankful ladies, you are loved by Jesus! He knows what is best for you. Trust Him with your whole heart and life. He has a plan. Stay on your life path with Him, developing into the woman of God HE wants you to be.

If your Abba Father has a man for you in the future, then He will bring him about in such a way that you know he is from your Heavenly Father. It is not up to you to be looking or searching, but keep your focus fixed on Christ as you go about His business getting to know Him better and making Him known to others.

Single ladies, trust in Jesus. Wait upon Him, His plan, and His timing. While you are waiting, grow and blossom in Him and live out the adventure that awaits you as you seek a life with The One True King. Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. ” God’s way is best and it will be well worth the wait!

#IloveJesus#GodisFaithful#JesusismyHusband

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There is Power in that Music

a-dark-prairie-storm-c2a9-2011-christopher-martin[1]It was a tumultuous time. The genre of country music seemed a refreshing change from the secular rock and pop I was used to. But, listening to it produced  an attitude of melancholy. It seemed like life was being consumed by storm clouds.

I began filling my head and home with as much of God as I could. I was going to church, Bible study, reading books by Christian authors, listening to preachers on the radio, and clinging onto my Bible as a life-preserver that kept me from sinking into the depths of despair. In fact, I would not even leave home without it, as within its pages were my Hope and Security.

It was then that I rediscovered Christian radio. What a God send! Truly! Flooding my head and home with Christian music was powerful. I found that it truly lifted my spirit. As I began to sing along, the depression I was feeling would lift. As I sang praises to the Lord, my soul would rejoice! I began to feel the freedom and victory I had in knowing Christ and that He would see me through this. The joy of the Lord became my strength.

As I continued to choose the genre of Christian music, I realized the power of it. There, embedded within the lyrics of song were Scripture, God’s Word! No wonder listening to Christian music chased my blues away.The-Bright-Sun-Blue-Sky-Clouds-940x587[1] I was infusing my head with the Truth, receiving renewed life and strength for my spirit. It was so simple, and yet, so incredibly powerful!

That was three years ago and I have not stopped listening yet! For me, Christian music is a way of life. It is good input into my soul. It renews my strength. It speaks life and Truth into my mind. It puts my focus on Christ and others, not my selfish self. The Scripture floods my mind with the perfect peace and rest that only comes from knowing our Savior.

I thank the Lord for His redemptive love and the giving up of Himself on the cross for me and my sin, and for all of humanity. I love the choice I have made in my genre of Christian music. It ministers to my soul, lifts my spirit, speaks truth into my heart and mind, and, cultivates the worship of my loving Savior. “Rejoice in the Lord always, and again, I say rejoice!” Philippians 4:4

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Copyright 2015 Goldie

 

Blossom Where You are Planted

growwhereplanted2This delicate little flower caught my eye. Such a joyful yellow with dark flecks and uniquely shaped petals. It’s stem a deep healthy green, holding its head up high. Its innocent beauty is alluring. But even more beautiful was seeing where this shining star of a flower was rooted.

Growing from beneath the side of an alley building, it had sprung up between the structure and the asphalt. Surrounded by rock and even covered in debris, it was growing strong in spite of its harsh conditions.

This little gem of a flower is a great visual of how we should live. We are to be rooted deeply in Christ and grow strong and beautiful even when enduring adverse conditions in life. “The joy of the Lord is our Strength.”  Nehemiah 8:10

growwhereplanted1

 “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose hope is the Lord. He is like a tree planted beside waters, that stretches out its roots to the stream. It fears not the heat when it comes, its leaves stay green. In the year of  drought it shows no distress, but still bears fruit” (Jer. 17:7-9).

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 Copyright 2015

Rings of Life

skipping rocksAs I sat quietly watching my children throw stones into the river, I began reflecting upon my own life. As I watched the rings that were spreading out from the rocks as they sunk to the bottom of the river, I wondered… what effect am I having on the lives of those around me? Are the rings of my life spreading the love of Christ?

1 Thessalonians 4:11-12 tells us, “To aspire to live quietly, to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one.” Let’s look at these a little closer.

When I think of living a quiet life, I first picture a home that is peaceful. It is a place of order, not chaos. It is a place of refuge and comfort. I also think of relationships that are healthy and kind. The home is quiet and the neighbors observe peaceful living with family members and others within the neighborhood, having a positive influence on family, friends, and even strangers.

Minding our own affairs is something that may sound easy, but when it comes right down to it, simply isn’t. How easy it is to spout-off our opinions about someone or a certain situation. Instead of being judgmental and harsh towards others, we should be compassionate, encouraging, and loving. Before ever confronting an individual we should first pray for that person and their situation, quietly lifting them up before the Lord. We can release the situation to God, trusting in Him, and He will be the One to correct and restore, if needed.

Working with our hands embraces life itself and God’s daily plans for us. Being a mom or grandparent, going to the office or school, being that caretaker… just being about the Father’s business every day. We are to keep our focus on Christ, diligently seeking Him in all we do. Working with our hands also permeates thoughts of wholesome hard work which is admirable and worthy of respect. After all, Jesus… the Son of God, our Lord and Savior and the King of Kings was himself a Carpenter.

water ringsIf we can live by these three principles, we will walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one. The Lord will provide all your needs when you are living closely with Him and trusting Him in His provision. By living a quiet life, minding our own affairs, and working with our hands, others will experience the love of Christ, as our lives touch those around us.

 

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Joy Comes in the Morning

morning sunrisePsalm 30:5 says, “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.” What a beautiful promise given to us by our Creator.

Why did God create day and night? I believe one important purpose is to give us an end to our day. Sometimes, this is just the mental relief we need to keep on keeping on! As we live our fast paced lives and trials challenge our faith walk, it is reassuring to know we can shut down, allow the Lord to renew our strength, and start fresh again in the morning.

How great it is at the end of a wonderful day to drift off to sleep peacefully rejoicing in the Lord for such a blessed day. On the other hand, if it has been a particularly difficult day, being able to close our eyes and end that day is also a great relief. Whether it has been a good day or bad day, it is refreshing to anticipate a new day. Instead of being overwhelmed or perplexed by an unresolved situation, we can choose to hand it over to the Lord, and trust in Him to help us. He will provide the peace we so desperately need along with new strategies of dealing with things. With each new day we are given the breath of life, we are privileged with the opportunity to do things differently and with perhaps a change of attitude and renewed hope.

Luke 1:37 says, “For nothing is impossible with God.” With our Hope in Him, we are free to live victorious lives with a fresh beginning and clean slate every single day. I am so thankful the Lord gives us new beginnings! Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23.

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