The Unchecked Yard

This week I was having a talk with a friend who has been working on her new yard. She said her front and back yards were pretty free of weeds.  She stayed on top of that.  But, the other day she went to the side yard and low and behold, weeds galore!  Her sideyard is not visible from inside of the house so she had not seen all that was growing wildly.  Where the yard is not visible, the weeds are prolific. 

She noticed that the side of the house is not as protected as the rest.  The fence is down on part of it.  The bushes opposite the house have a break in them.  The wind can blow easily into the sideyard which means blowing the seeds and pollen from the weeds across the street right into her yard.

It made me wonder how protected all of my spiritual yard is.  Do I have a break anywhere in the protection of my life’s yard?  Is there an area where sin and temptation can get in easily?  Do I allow influences to blow in that are not good for my spiritual home?  Do I have an area that I am keeping hidden, that isn’t very visible from myself or others but the weeds of sin are still there and thriving? 

God tells me in Ephesians 6 that I am to use the armor He has provided for a reason.  It is for my protection from the things that could cause sin to grow unchecked.  Hebrews 12:1-2 says to set aside or throw off the sin that entangles or hinders us. Those weeds in my friend’s yard can get entangled deeply together if they continue to grow as they are. Then she will have an even bigger problem when she attempts to dig them out. She may need a larger tool than just a little hand weeder. Those weeds will hinder anything healthy from growing in her yard.

If I don’t have an attitude check many times during my day, a bad attitude will entangle itself so deeply into my heart that I will live by that wrong attitude. If I don’t keep a guard on the things that my heart is feeling and my mouth is saying throughout the day, the negative things I allow to build in my heart will hinder anything good from being grown by God’s hand. It is for my spiritual safety and well-being so that I do not allow things that will negatively impact my relationship with Him. 

I don’t want the weeds of sin to grow unchecked and be prolific in my life and I’m sure you don’t either. 

“Dear Father God, Today, weed out my heart and my mind of the “little” things so that they don’t become big and of those that have already become big. Use whatever means You need in order to clean up my Spiritual yard so that You can grow in me whatever You desire so that my life is a sweet aroma to You.”

Skipping Through Life

I’m a fairly visual person and as I was talking to God about some of the things He’s been showing me that need some work in my life I caught a glimpse of this little girl walking with her parent.  The little girl began skipping.

First ahead

Then beside

Then in circles beside, behind, beside, ahead

Beside, behind, beside, ahead-skipping almost in a circular path…staying close to the path then at times on the path then at other times off of the path.

The little girl was smiling and happy because her parent was close at hand.  She remained within reach of her “path partner” but skipping as many little girls do.

I smiled…at first…

Then I realized…

I was the little girl.  I had spent a pretty large quantity of time skipping happily around God.  Always just within reach…not far off the path and much time on the path…but oblivious to the fact that I was not continually on the path. 

He reminded me that I am still His little girl who He made to joyfully skip along but to skip along beside Him.

Never in front

Sometimes behind, usually when the path is narrow.  When I’m behind Him I can step into His foot prints and remain on path.

I am thankful today that my heavenly Father is patient to show me what I need to see when my heart is ready to see it and ready to be changed by Him.  I pray that I do not get caught up in the less important and miss the most important.  Skipping along with God is important.  Skipping in step with Him or behind Him is even more so.

 

 

Creativity at its Best

It amazes me at times how the earth, the heavens, the atmosphere and all created things tell of God’s glory.  Psalm 19:1 says “the heavens declare the glories of God”.   Isaiah 6: 3 says, “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory!”  It set me to thinking. 

The oceans and the power of the waves crashing against the rocks or the shore roars with God’s almighty power

 

The spray of mist of water coming off of those waves remind me of the way the Holy Spirit revitalizes my soul

The mountains in all their magnificence shout of the majesty of God

The amazing colors one can see standing on those mountains and looking out across creation tell of His stunning creativity

The wispiness of a California poppy catching the breeze speaks to me of His gentle care of our souls and hearts

The intricacy of the wings of a monarch butterfly as it hovers over a milk weed plant whispers to me of how multilayered and multifaceted He is

And the list could go on unending.

There is no doubt that the heavens declare God’s glory as the sun reflects Him only partially and the stars as they twinkle sing His praises.  The thunder roars His power and the lightening crackles with a fraction of His force. 

Everything He created knows to shout His praise.  Only one has to be taught.  Humans.  I Chronicles 16:33a says, “Then the trees of the forest will sing for joy before the LORD” In Luke we see Jesus having a conversation with some Pharisees who wanted those who were praising Him to be quiet.  Jesus said, “If they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”  I don’t know about you but, though it may be awe inspiring to see stones crying out in praise to God, I don’t want to see that because it would mean I’m not doing what should flow so naturally from within me. 

God gave us all of His creation to enjoy but also to remember Who to praise.

I love Psalm 104 especially verse 5-9a which reads like this:

“He set the earth on its foundations, it can never be moved.  You covered it with the deep as with a garment; the waters stood above the mountains.  But at Your rebuke the waters fled, at the sound of Your thunder they took to flight; they flowed over the mountains, they went down into the valleys, to the place You assigned for them.  You set a boundary they cannot cross.”

The Psalm ends with these words:  Praise the LORD O my soul.  Praise the LORD.”

I hope and pray that today is a day we each choose to praise Him for all of His incredible creations and to be reminded of all He has given us.

 

A Few Things God Wants:

We often think about the things we want.  Our wants are as different as we are.  Few are exactly the same.  But with this thought in mind I started thinking today about the things I thought God may want.  This is what came to mind.

-He wants for you to have eternal life-His Son died so it would be so –John 3:16

-He wants for you to know His love-His sacrifice demonstrated it-Romans 8:5, Romans 5:8

-He wants for you to experience security with and in Him so He told us what to do to have it –keep our hearts and eyes focused on Him–Colossians 3:3

-He wants us to understand that He will give us strength and courage, that’s why He said so many times in His word “do not be afraid” or “be strong and courageous”-Joshua 1:6,7,9, Joshua 10:25

-He wants us to understand that we are never alone that’s why over and over He told us that He would always be with us and no one could ever take us away from Him-Hebrews 13:5b, John 10:28

-He wants us to understand who He is and so He gave us not only His written words but also the Holy Spirit so that we would hear His words-Romans 8:16, John 14:16

-He wants us  to rely on Him that’s why He gave us His Holy Spirit and said to trust in Him – John 15:26, John 14:1, Romans 9:33, 10:11

-He wants us to love Him and so He said how…with all of our heart, mind, soul and strength-Mark 12:30

Billy Graham once said basically that God doesn’t keep hidden from us the way to come to know Him.  It’s right in His Word.  We simply need to seek it out.

He gave us His word so that we could come to know Him, walk with HIm, live within His strength.  He gave us His Spirit so that we would always have a Teacher with us to interpret what we’ve read.  And He gave us HImself so that we could live in an intimate relationship with HIm.

When God made Adam and eventually Eve, it was so they could walk in companionship with God.  I don’t believe that has changed.  I believe as we read through God’s word we will see that from the very beginning God wanted us to walk with HIm, to love Him, to live fully and completely as His beloved, His children, His treasures.

That walk with God can be impacted by the choice we make to sin or to walk with HIm.  I believe with all my heart that what God wants is for us to choose to walk with Him.  He’s given me a choice.  What will that choice be today?

“Dear God, Today let me choose in every way to walk with You.  Let me be ever aware of what You want and of all You sacrificed for that want or desire to be reality in my life.  May I follow in Your ways and seek what You desire.”