Lessons from a Dog

2 Aug

Taking my dog for a walk is a meditative sort of activity.  As we were walking today I realized that my reEllen & Cooperlationship to God is nearly like my dog, Cooper’s, relationship to me.  Cooper does great as long as I keep hold of the short leash.  The distractions come but since he knows he is on leash he ignores them.  It’s very peaceful for us both.  That is how my relationship with God is when I am connected to Him through His Word.  His Word serves as my leash.  My life goes along peacefully as long as I stay connected to God.

Once Cooper and I get to a large church parking lot with lots of grass and shrubs, I let him off leash.  Oh how excited he is to go exploring.  I mean he’s totally excited to be off-leash.  He leaves his mark on shrubs, finds disgusting things to taste, chases a cat, arouses a bird to flight and oh how he loves running free.  And when he decides to “make a deposit” on the grass of course, I follow along to clean up after him.  I often call out to him with warnings but he ignores me.  When it’s time to go I call him back to my side and he reluctantly comes and we continue on with the leash connecting us.

We too love to run free and do whatever comes naturally–often causing pain or anxiety for others.  There are so many distractions in life that pull us away from God and we go about our merry way–ignoring that He is still close by.  We forget all about His leash–the Bible and do things our own way.  Then, when our actions and choices have gotten us into trouble we come running back to God and His Word, wondering why things just aren’t working out and wanting Him to fix it.  We want both our freedom and His protection.

I want my life to be so absorbed with God’s Word that I never want to get far away from His protective care.  I’m grateful for His loving forgiveness and patience when I mess up and wander off.  But how wonderful it is to know He is always there, waiting for Me to come back to His side.  What a wonderfully peaceful place to be!

Power Corrupts–Holiness Heals

29 Jul

God’s WordPsalms 99

God’s Attribute: (9) Holy is God (Holy means worthy of complete devotion as one perfect in goodness and righteousness.)  Holiness

God’s Message to me:

My position as Creator and Ruler of the universe demands holiness.  Power in the hands of the evil is disastrous.  No one is able to safely handle absolute power.  Power corrupts—holiness is a realm above the possibility of corruption.  No one on earth lives in that realm.  But what deep peace and satisfaction you realize when you experience moments realizing My holiness and bask in that limelight I shine down on you.

I have provided you open access into these moments to recharge your spirit but all too often you ignore My invitation to bask in My love and holiness.  Instead, you choose to worry and fret over things you have no control over.  Please, just trust Me.  I am a lover of justice and will see you safely through life’s struggles and pain.

Draw near to Me and I will draw near to you—anywhere, everywhere, all the time.  You are never out of My mind.  To turn your thoughts toward Me is to worship Me.  I invite you to step into My realm of holiness and then reflect that holiness to those around you.  I comfort you in all your troubles so that you might comfort others in theirs.  In so doing for others a deep peace surrounds you—that is My spirit of holiness and you can “flesh out” in the unselfish acts of caring for others—with no regards as to what you receive for yourself.

God’s Question for me

Will you come unto Me so my holiness can rub off on you and be spread over your little corner of the world?

God’s Promise to me

I will be with you—wherever you go!

My Prayer to emulate God’s Attributes

I Pledge:

My mind: To turn to You often in praise and worship.

My voice:  To allow Your holiness to bathe every word I say.

My heart:  To love every other person I meet as though it was You.

My body:  To sacrifice self in order to bless others on Your behalf.

God’s Music

28 Jul

God’s WordPsalms 98

God’s Attribute: (1) Sing to God–He’s made a world of wonders!  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ih8mnBCVHpA

God’s Message to me:creation

The whole world is My orchestra and choir.  Music to My ears is the sounds of the critters, the wind, the waves, the thunder, the rain, and especially the voices and instruments played in My honor by My favored creation—humanity.  When you hear the sounds of the critters you know your little part of the planet is running smoothly.  Birds, frogs, squirrels, crickets, and many more animal sounds make up My choir.  I hope you enjoy the sounds as I do because they exist so you can exist.  They are part of the habitat of humanity I created for you.

All of this is for one purpose—to create the environment for you to respond to My love. First, I demonstrated My love through My creation, and then stooped down from heaven, as Jesus Christ, to pay the ultimate price to set you right with Me.

And what do I want from you?  To recognize My being—My presence in your world and your life.  I abide with those who invite Me into their heart and life.  I offer you joy unspeakable and full of glory that can’t help but well up inside you and flow out into the lives of others.  That is music to My ears.  The critters do exactly what I created them to do.  They know I am their maker.  Humanity was endowed with “free will,” meaning they can choose to do what I created them to do—or not.  How I am blessed when you choose Me.  I already choose you and patiently await your response.  That is the music of my life.

God’s Question for me

Is the music of your life honoring Me?

God’s Promise to me:

 (9) When God comes. . .  to set the earth right He’ll straighten out the whole world, He’ll put the world right, and everyone in it.

My Prayer to Emulate God’s Attributes:  I Pledge:

My mind: To focus on the wonders of creation and share it with others.

My voice:  May the words and deeds of my life be sweet music to You.

My heart:  To be drawn to carry out Your will for my life.

My body: To touch the lives of others and draw them to You

Is God Fair?

26 Jul

God’s WordPsalms 96

God’s Attribute: (5 & 10)  God made the heavens. . .He put the world on a firm foundation. is God Fair

God’s Message to me:

Look around you—I made it all with you in mind.  The exact distance between the earth, sun and moon, the exact balance of oxygen, the exact amount of water needed for life, the seeds and animals for food for you and for them.  Oh how I loved creating all this for you.  You are My child and I love you.  I love it when you enjoy My creation.

And what do I desire from you?  Acknowledgement that this is My gift to you and take good care of My creation.  How do I know you acknowledge Me as creator?  I hear your songs of praise and hear you sharing My good news with others.  My creation speaks loudly of its praise of Me. Mankind are the only ones who deny My existence.  All the rest of creation are busy doing My bidding.  You are the only ones I have endowed with free choice.  How honored I am when you choose Me.  Thank you.

I hear it said often, “life isn’t fair.”  Don’t worry–life may not be fair but I am fair and I treat everyone fair and square.  That is—as fair and square as you treat others.  Remember I take your treatment of others personally, then reflect that same treatment back to you.  What you give is what you get.  Isn’t that fair?

God’s Question for me

Are you caring for My creation (including other people) in a way that acknowledges Me as the Creator?

God’s Promise to me:

I treat everyone fair and square–and sprinkle in a little grace.

My Prayer to Emulate God’s Attributes:   I Pledge:

My mind: To include You in my constant thoughts more and more.

My voice:  To consider all my words spoken as unto You.

My heart:  To beat with Yours in concern for others.

My body:  To be a good steward of my time and honor You in all I do.

A Circle of Quiet

25 Jul

God’s Word: Psalms 94: 

God’s Attribute:

(15)  Provides a circle of quiet within the clamor of evil.circle of peace

(19)  When I was upset and beside myself, you calmed me down and cheered me up.

God’s Message to me:

As it was in days the Psalms were written—mankind still is asking Me to deliver you BEFORE any trials come into your life.  You make your choices, get yourself in trouble then want Me to deliver you.  Don’t you realize that trials help you grow strong?  There is no other way.  The spoiled child never makes a strong adult.  As children need to suffer the consequences in order to learn—so do you.

What I offer you is a circle of quiet within the clamor of evil around you.  Step into My circle and rest amidst the trials that surround you.  When you are upset and beside yourself I will calm you down and cheer you up.  Don’t you understand—for your own good I cannot remove all trials from your life or I am taking away your free will.  But what I am willing and able to do is carry you through those storms.

Reach out to Me in the midst of life’s storms and be at peace—whatever the storms are. It will take effort on your part but that is part of strengthening you.  Choose My peace!  Step into My circle of quiet.  And then—reach out to others and draw them into My circle also.

God’s question for me

Will you choose My circle of quiet within the clamor of trouble that surrounds you—and seek to be a circle of quiet for others also?

God’s promise to me

As I see you treating others—I will treat you.

My prayer to God:

  1. Adoration:  What a wonderful insight You give–trials are part of our strengthening process
  2. Confession: I’m sorry for ever turning away from others when they are going through troubles.  (Too much drama!)
  3. Thanksgiving: I am thankful for the insights You give me.
  4. Supplication: Help me to be Your messenger of mercy.

Strength Without Boundaries

22 Jul

God’s Word: Psalms 93   

God’s Attribute: God is. . . strength. . . eternal. . . mighty. Handshake

God’s Message to me:

I am here for you.  In your weakness—I give you strength.  In your finite flesh—I will transform you and give you eternal life.  There is nothing that is too difficult for Me—My might has no boundaries.  What is difficult for you?  I’m right here with you—just hold tight to trust in Me.

In a world that is ever changing—I will never change.  Though the storms of life rage all about you—I will give you peace in whatever storm may come.  But I will not force Myself upon you—simply be available for you to reach out and receive of My strength and peace that passes understanding.

My love for you will endure to the end of time—and beyond into eternity.  What, you ask, can you do for Me in return?  You can’t do anything for me—unless you do something for others.  Remember, I take your treatment of others personally.  I know I have said this before and will say it again but you seem to need frequent reminders.

God’s question for me

Do you trust Me enough to give yourself as a strength for others?

God’s promise to me:

My strength is given for service, not status.  Look after the good of the people around you, asking yourself, “How can I help?”

My prayer to God:

  1. Adoration:  What a blessed comfort it is to know You are strength in the midst of whatever storm comes into my life.
  2. Confession: I am sorry that I so frequently fail to trust You.
  3. Thanksgiving: Thank You for not giving up on me.
  4. Supplication:  Please guide me in discovering ways I can be a blessing to others in ways that honors You.

You’re in Good Hands!

20 Jul

God’s Word:  Psalms 91in good hands

God’s Attribute: (15)  I’ll give you the best of care if you’ll only get to know and trust me.  . . . . .God

God’s Message to me:

There is nothing in this life that can separate you from My love—except your refusal to get to know and trust Me.  There is no valley so deep and dark that I will not be your constant companion and will give you peace and joy amidst whatever sorrows await there.

Always remember that whether you are on the mountain top of joy or the valley of sorrow, I am there too and eager to wrap My loving arms of peace around your heart which will fend off all harm.  There is nothing in this life that can take away that peace.  But you make the choice to receive it.

I am eager to be your refuge.  As a parent is eager to comfort their child, I am eager to comfort you.  When you are weak, I am still strong and will give you the strength to go on.  I will provide you with the best of care in the worst of circumstances.  Please don’t worry about the future.  I am there too.

God’s question for me

Will you hold onto Me for dear life when the storms of life rage?

God’s promise to me

Call Me and I’ll answer, be at your side in bad times. . . I’ll rescue you.

My prayer to God

  1. Adoration:  It is so comforting to know that whatever the future—You are there and will go with us step by step.
  2. Confession: I am sorry when I worry about the unknown future for I know You hold all my tomorrows in safe keeping.
  3. Thanksgiving: I am so thankful that You will always be with me.  You certainly have taken the best of care of me and my family.  We rest in joy in You.
  4. Supplication:  I want to offer my heart and hands to others on Your behalf.  Please guide me in serving others.
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