March 1 Morning Essentials

Image by Aaron Wilson

Image by Aaron Wilson

Devotion taken from Streams In The Desert compiled by Mrs. Charles E. Cowman

“Be ready in the morning, and come up…present thyself to me in the top of the mount.  And no man shall com up with thee.”  Exodus 34:2-3

 * * * * *

The morning watch is essential.  You must not face the day until you have faced God, nor look into the face of others until you have looked into His.

You cannot expect to be victorious, if the day begins only in your own strength.  Face the work of every day with the influence of a few thoughtful, quiet moments with your heart and God.  Do not meet other people, even those of your own home, until you have first met the great Guest and honored Companion of your life–Jesus Christ.

Meet Him alone.  Meet Him regularly.  Meet Him with His open Book of counsel before you; and face the regular and irregular duties of each day with the influence of His personality definitely controlling your every act.

Begin the day with God!

He is the Sun and Day!

He is the radiance of thy dawn;

To Him address the day.

* * *

Sing a new song at morn!

Join the glad woods and hills:

Join the fresh winds and seas and plains,

Join the bright flowers and rills.

* * *

Sing the first song to God!

Not to thy fellow men;

Not to the creatures of His hand,

But to the glorious One.

* * *

Take thy first walk with God!

Let Him go forth with thee;

By stream, or sea, or mountain path,

Seek still His company.

* * *

Thy first transaction be

With God Himself above;

So shall thy business prosper well,

all the day be love.

~ Horatius Bonar

Dear Lord,  You have kept us safely through the night and brought us to this new day.  Thank you.  May we begin this day in confidence that You are with us each step of the way.  Bless us to be a blessing.  For Jesus’ sake, Amen.

February 28 Human Sunflowers

Photo by Terry Lane

Photo by Terry Lane

Taken from the devotional–Streams In The Desert compiled by Mrs. Charles E. Cowman

” A city missionary, stumbling through the dirt of a dark entry, heard a voice say, “Who’s there, Honey?”  Striking a match, he caught a vision of earthly want and suffering, of saintly trust and peace, “cut in ebony”–calm, appealing eyes set amid the wrinkles of a pinched, black face that lay on a tattered bed.  It was a bitter night in February, and she had no fire, no fuel, no light.  She had had no supper, no dinner, no breakfast.  She seemed to have nothing at all but rheumatism and faith in God.  One could not well be more completely exiled from all pleasantness of circumstances, yet the favorite son of this dear old woman ran:

Nobody knows de trouble I see,

Nobody knows but Jesus;

Nobody knows de trouble I see–

Sing Glory Hallelu!

* * * * *

Sometimes I’m up, sometimes I’m down,

Sometimes I’m level on the groun’,

Sometimes the glory shines aroun’–

Sing Glory Hallelu!

And so it went on:  “Nobody knows de work I does, Nobody knows de griefs I has,” the constant refrain being the “Glory Allelu!” until the last verse rose:

Nobody knows de joys I has,

Nobody knows but Jesus!

“Troubled on every side, yet not distressed;  perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed.”  It takes great Bible words to tell the cheer of the old negro auntie.

Remember Luther on his sickbed.  Between his groans he managed to preach on this wise:  “These pains and trouble here are like the type which the printers set; as they look now, we have to read them backwards, and they seem to have no sense or meaning in them; but up yonder, when the Lord God prints us off in the life to come, we shall find they make brave reading.”  Only we do not need to wait till then.  Remember Paul walking the hurricane deck amid a boiling sea, bidding the frightened crew “Be of good cheer,” Luther, the old negro auntie–all of them human sunflowers. ~ William C. Garnett

Lord God, may we always look to you whether we are up, or whether we are down and give you all the glory due your Holy Name.  For Jesus’ sake, Amen.

February 27 Only By Prayer

Photo by Kevin Carden

Photo by Kevin Carden

Leviticus 20:22-22:16;  Mark 9:1-29;  Psalm 43:1-4;  Proverbs 10:18

“He [Jesus] replied, “This kind can come out only by prayer.”

Mark 9:1-29

Some demons are harder to get rid of

than others.

But, Christ on the Cross

defeated even the most

obstinate of them.

* * * * *

When it seems like you’re

stuck

or some problem is

stuck on you,

pray.

* * * * *

Put the problem in

God’s Hands

and pray

“not my will, but your’s

be done.”

* * * * *

“Everything is possible

for him

who believes.”

Mark 9:23

Jesus said so himself!

Lord God, just like the man whose son was ridden with a demon difficult to remove, we or someone we love are faced with a very difficult situation.  We may think that it is an unsolvable problem and if we do, forgive us, Lord.  For you are there to help us.  May we be constant in prayer and willing to pray “thy will be done.”  Open our eyes to your answers.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

February 26 Thank You!

vibaward

Thank you to Julie (aka Cookie) at cookiecrumbstoliveby.com who nominated me for this award.  I’ve passed on award nominations in the past, but am inspired to do “the honors” and to share it with others who have inspired me along life’s way.

To share seven thoughts about me:

I prefer:

1. Plains to the Mountains

2. Lakes to the Oceans

3. Morning to night

4. Chinese food to Italian

5. Quiet evenings at home to a night on the town.

6. I am the oldest of four daughters and the mother of three sons!  Go figure!

7. I treasure most that I am a Child of God —Father, Son and Holy Ghost!

Since this is an Inspirational Type of Award I’d like to share the sites of bloggers whose words, photos, drawings,paintings, and doodlings inspire and lift me up. My thanks to all of you for your contributions that bring forth smiles and make me grow.

James at adoptingjames.wordpress.com  As a writer I appreciate his hints and illustrations.  Thanks James!

K. Q. Duane at kqduane.com  Straight talk and resources regarding feminism in our society.  Now I know why I didn’t like The Feminine Mystique!

Judy at crookedtracks.com gives me glimpses of the state of Minnesota which I called home for several years after college graduation.  In spite of the cold…..it was beautiful!

Dan at danfrugalberg.com has stunning photography and original poetry that always lights up my day.

Steve at steverebus.com is my “across the pond” inspiration for all things related to photography and the Christian faith..

Margie and Gail at ajourneybetweenfriends.wordpress.com uniquely combine their love of painting and closing the distance between friends through this inspiring site.

Anna at daughterbydesign.wordpress.com combines love for the Lord with her love for serving others through inspirational and scriptural thoughts that I find very refreshing and encouraging.

Karina at karinasussanto.wordpress.com always has a genuinely caring, Christian word of encouragement.

Liz at prayerpointsbyliz brings home a gently challenging thought about how we treat others in light of the Gospel.  Thank you dear friend.

beejai at tworiversblog.com also does a daily devotion based on the One Year Bible readings that I use for “What’s The Good Word?”  I appreciate his pastor-perspective and applications.

Levi at levithedford.com shares from his heart and from C.H. Spurgeon–both are inspiring.

Natalie at sacredtouches.com provides lovely, lilting poetry and prose from others and from her own treasure chest of ideas along with gorgeous photos.  You’re in our prayers, Natalie!

Shannon at doodlesinvigorate.wordpress.com creatively reminds me of God’s truths.

Marcela at photgraphyartplus.wordpress.com supplies me with absolutely stunning photography of flowers-so real that I can almost smell their fragrance.  Muchas gracias!

“Oh give thanks unto the Lord

for HE is Good

and HIS mercy

endures forever.”

To Him be the glory!

Thank you, dear Lord, for all of the wonderful people whom you inspire to share the beauty of Your world and Your truth.  Bless them and keep them always in your care.  For Jesus’ sake, Amen.

For those nominated for this award please do the following should you decide to accept it:

1) Post the The Very Inspiring Blogger Award Image on your blog. 2)Tell us seven things about yourself and 3) Nominate 10-15 other bloggers whom you liked the world to know and be inspired!  Thanks!

February 25 Out Of Love

Image by Marian Trinidad

Image by Marian Trinidad

“The entire law is summed up in a single command:

“Love your neighbor as yourself.”

Galatians 5:14

“This statement is expressed in a beautiful and powerful way:  “Love your neighbor as yourself.”  There is no attitude more outstanding, respected, and virtuous than love.  No one can show you a model that is better, more certain, and more real than yourself.

 * * * *

If you want to know how to love your neighbor and want to have a clear example of it, then pay careful attention to how you love yourself.  In times of need and danger, you certainly want to be loved and helped with all the advice, resources, and power of everyone everywhere.  So you don’t need a book to teach and admonish you how to love your neighbor.  For you have the best and most lovely book about all laws right in your heart.

* * * * *

You don’t need a teacher; just consult your own heart.  It will thoroughly teach you that your neighbor should be loved the way you love yourself.  Further, love is the highest virtue.  Its prepared to serve not only with words, hands, money and possessions, but also with the body and even life itself.  It’s not motivated by reward or anything else.  It’s not slowed down by unworthiness or ungratefulness of a neighbor.  We should serve our neighbor out of love, just as a mother cherishes and cares for her child out of love.”

Taken from  Faith Alone: A Daily Devotional (Writings of Martin Luther)

February 24 No Miracle Maker

Photo by Cathy Ginder

Photo by Cathy Ginder

“John did no miracle:  but all things that John spake of this man [Jesus] were true.”   John 10:41

You may be very discontented with yourself.  You are no genius, have no brilliant gifts, and are inconspicuous for any special faculty.  Mediocrity is the law of your existence.  Your days are remarkable for nothing but sameness and insipidity.  Yet you may live a great life.

* * * * *

John did no miracle, but Jesus said that among those born of women there had not appeared a greater than he.

John’s main business was to bear witness to the Light, and this may be yours and mine.  John was content to be only a voice, if men would think of Christ.

* * * * *

Be willing to be only a voice, heard but not seen; a mirror whose surface is lost to view, because it reflects the dazzling glory of the sun; a breeze that springs up just before daylight, and says, “The dawn! the dawn!” and then dies away.

Do the commonest and smallest things as beneath His eye.  If you must live with uncongenial people, set to the conquest by love.  If you have made a great mistake in your life, do not let it becloud all of it; but, locking the secret in your breast, compel it to yield strength and sweetness.

* * * * *

We are doing more good than we know, sowing seed, starting streamlets, giving men true thoughts of Christ, to which they will refer one day as the first things that started them thinking of Him; and, of my part, I shall be satisfied if no great mausoleum is raised over my grave, but that simple souls shall gather there when I am gone and say, “He was a good man; he wrought no miracles, but he spake words about Christ, which led me to know Him for myself.”  George Matheson

From Streams In The Desert, compiled by Mrs. Charles E. Cowman

February 23 Blessing in Disguise

Matt Richardson

“And there came a lion” (1 Samuel 17:34).

     It is a source of inspiration and strength to come in touch the youthful David, trusting God.  Through faith in God he conquered a lion and a bear, and afterward overthrew the mighty Goliath.  When that lion came to despoil that flock, it came as a wondrous opportunity to David.  If he had failed or faltered he would have missed God’s opportunity for him and probably would never have come to be God’s chosen king of Israel. “And there came a lion.”

* * * * *

     One would not think that a lion was a special blessing from God; one would think that only an occasion of alarm.  The lion was God’s opportunity in disguise.  Every difficulty that presents itself to us, if we receive it in the right way, is God’s opportunity.  Every temptation that comes is God’s opportunity.

* * * * *

     When the “lion” comes, recognize it as God’s opportunity no matter how rough the exterior.  The very tabernacle of God was covered with badgers’ skins and goats’ hair; one would not think there would be any glory there.  The Shekinah of God was manifest under that kind of covering.  May God open our eyes to see Him, whether in temptations, trials, dangers , or misfortunes.  C.H.P.

Taken from Streams In The Desert, compiled by Mrs. Charles E. Cowman