Path, Ways

Sunset in IndiaPATH, WAYS

As I gaze upon this sunrise, its imminent sunset, I’m reminded that every Christ-follower’s life should be a life of increasing brilliance, uninterrupted, a natural result of increasing communion with, and conformity to, the very fountain itself of heavenly radiance. The beautiful reality of a sunrise to sunset, its symbolic of our progressive life in Christ! We begin as babes, progress to maturity, but because of sin’s fracture enter momentarily to what is only a shadow of death to victoriously emerge on the other side more fully alive, perfected, without flaw in God’s presence!

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But the PATH of the righteous is like the light of dawn that shines brighter until the full day. (Proverbs 4:18)

You will make known to me the PATH of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever. (Psalm 16:11)

You have made known to me the WAYS of life; you will make me full of gladness with your presence. (Acts 2:28)

Make me know Your WAYS, O LORD; Teach me Your paths. (Psalm 25:4)

Sound

IU Sample GatesSOUND

As I gaze upon the Sample Gates in this photo at one of the most stunningly beautiful entrances to Indiana University, I wonder how much sound knowledge is taught here due to so much political correctness, liberal bias infecting our educational system. Don’t get me wrong, I love IU, Bloomington is my hometown, value the importance of a good education, and for the most part I’m sure IU delivers. Just questioning. Pondering. Praying.

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For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths. (2 Timothy 4:3-4)

Define

Heart in the CloudsDEFINE

Pondering God’s heart as I gaze on this heart so eloquently on display. Reminded not to let someone else’s hurt define my heart.

The principles of recovery teach us that hurt people hurt people, sometimes intentionally, often unintentionally they take the pain in their lives and transfer or project it to others. The problem is that we often let them. Ever so mindful today not to let hurtful words define a defensive response. Instead, take every thought captive to the one whose love defines who I am, Christ in me, to respond in such a way to build up, to edify.

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So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. (1 John 4:16)

We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:5)

So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding. (Romans 14:19)

Wild Flowers

Whiskey Barrell Wild FlowersWILD FLOWERS

Wild flowers, the earth its canvas, a brush of art from God’s heart.

As I gaze upon this bucket of flowers, it speaks profoundly of their beauty, evokes unexpressed thoughts and feelings and sometimes difficult to find words for, but in the giving or receiving of flowers it opens our hearts to the vulnerable tenderness that so desires expression.

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In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. (Genesis 1:1)

The earth laughs in flowers. (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

Flowers are the music of the earth. (Marty Rubin)

Where flowers bloom so does hope. (Lady Bird Johnson)

After women, flowers are the most lovely thing God has given the world. (Christian Dior)

A flower cannot blossom without sunshine, and man cannot live without love. (Max Muller)

The Amen of nature is always a flower. (Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.)

Lies Blasted

Fireworks @ Jackson Lake In Georgia 2016LIES BLASTED

As I sat praying this morning, a few moments ago, my spiritual eyes were more keenly awakened (physical eyes closed) and I saw a picture of lies blasted, being broken apart, decimated, crushed, forever destroyed.

Like fireworks on display, finally exposed, the blasting across the sky in the midst of a heavenly intrusion was so powerful, glorious! The scattering of worthlessness into nothingness, an eternal abyss. His light magnifying what’s clearly hidden in the dark, at one time unseen, yes, but also seen, was now exposed, disappearing, a sweep per se, an extinguishing by the Almighty. The commanding mouth of God spoke, and the lies, they fled into the abrupt void from which they came!

Pondering how Webster’s Dictionary describes VOID: “not valid or legally binding, invalid, null, ineffective, nonviable, useless, worthless, nugatory.”

Isn’t God good!

I’m amazed at HIS goodness, the magnificent swiftness in which the Almighty takes command! It is beyond my understanding, comprehension when and where and how the supernatural intersects, dissects, takes action and obliterates! Not by a whispering, instead, a loud implosion so profound which brings what is clearly binding to a stunning halt, commanding it useless! Viewing this unfolding of glory, all lies silenced, I see His presence placing truth, again and again. What remains? LIGHT! There is simply no power or residue left in the lie(s).

Gone!

There is no comparison in the ability of a lie to impact in contrast to the blasting, the annihilation power of God to disarm!

Daunting! And to think, I too hold within me that same power, the indwelling work of the Holy Spirit!

So encouraged, a privilege to press in, acknowledge that God is on the move with those who have succumbed to the lie(s), that they too will be set free! On the other hand, I’m challenged by the need to be more aware, to beware, the thief will come to kill, steal and rob by using a manipulative fiery dart to penetrate. Darts of condemnation, a temptation emerging with a deceptive misdirect. If misused, given into, will provide permission, an open door for the power of the lie to possess, control, change and destroy me. If not replaced with truth, and quickly, it is only a matter of time I will fall prey to a slippery slope that leads to bondage, false belief, a misplaced concept of who God is!

Don’t want to go there!

We are all susceptible to the lies (false arguments) that seek to control and come into our minds! That is the truth!

Lies, they only have the power to destroy and place us in bondage if we allow it. This also is truth and why God has said …

We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:4-5)

So Jesus again said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. (John 10:7-11)

God has given me, you, the tools to fight warfare but on His terms! (Ephesians 6:10-18)

So grateful!

A lie is an argument believed that contradicts the person and power of Christ! So, have you ever had someone accuse you of something that was not true? I have! Have you ever heard the whisperings not from yourself or accused yourself of something that was not true? Me too! Either way, it really doesn’t matter but what does is knowing without a shadow of doubt any false argument (lie) launched against me, you, can turn into a stronghold in our mind that has the ability and will most likely spiritually debilitate. So important to know the truth, not what you think is truth or have been told is truth. Search and truly abide in WHO is the SOURCE of TRUTH! I’ll give you a hint. It’s God who came in the flesh, JESUS!

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (John 1:1-5)

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.’” For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known. (John 1:14-18)

Encouraged today to press on, to continue to trust God for the unseen to be seen, for needs to be met that I cannot meet, to meet those I can where the Spirit leads, for the supernatural presence of God to intersect where I can not, should not, and not only into the lives of loved ones but friends and strangers. I’m continually learning, relearning, letting go and allowing God to work because he is all loving and sovereign, has always done it and will continue to do so! It is His will that none shall perish!

When the Spirit of the truth comes taking every thought captive… LIES are BLASTED!

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Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak. (Ephesians 6:10-18)

O LORD, hear my prayer, listen to my cry for mercy; in your faithfulness and righteousness come to my relief. Do not bring your servant into judgment, for no one living is righteous before you. The enemy pursues me, he crushes me to the ground; he makes me dwell in darkness like those long dead. So my spirit grows faint within me; my heart within me is dismayed. I remember the days of long ago; I meditate on all your works and consider what your hands have done. I spread out my hands to you; my soul thirsts for you like a parched land. “Selah” Answer me quickly, O LORD; my spirit fails. Do not hide your face from me or I will be like those who go down to the pit. Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul. Rescue me from my enemies, O LORD, for I hide myself in you. Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground. For your name’s sake, O LORD, preserve my life; in your righteousness, bring me out of trouble. In your unfailing love, silence my enemies; destroy all my foes, for I am your servant. (Psalm 143)

Intensity

LeafINTENSITY

As I look upon this leaf in all its beauty I’m reminded of the intensity in development and struggle and growth it faced to arrive at this point to influence. And so it is with us. Our struggles, loneliness, hardships and brokenness create that which if surrendered brings out in us a beauty of purpose which glorifies our Creator.

Gisela Yohannan describes it well…

“As we walk through this life on earth (the valley of the shadow of death to victory), we are faced outwardly with many hardships, difficulties, sometimes poverty and even persecution. Yet there are other struggles and battles that are often much more intense, much more painful and much more severe than these. These are the battles we face on the inside, the ones that take place in our hearts. So often no one knows about them and no one cares. At times, we are not able to share them with anyone. We fight lonely, frightened and desperate. The Lord’s answers and interventions seem so far away. We know that the outcome of some of these battles will determine if we make it or break under them. Yet when victory arrives and we have overcome, the effect on our own life and the lives of others is tremendous: We have been broken for a purpose!”

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The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. (Psalm 34:18)

Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord and whose trust is the Lord. For he will be like a tree planted by the water, that extends its roots by a stream and will not fear when the heat comes; But its leaves will be green, and it will not be anxious in a year of drought nor cease to yield fruit. (Jeremiah 17:7,8)

Wisdom

IU StatueWISDOM

Prompt from this photo with the word wisdom, that true wisdom comes from God, His WORD.

Read this from Pastor Ryan Day and thought I’d share.

“When we search the Scriptures, we discover God is the ever-loving Father, with arms extended, heart yearning, and lips pleading with human beings to turn away from their sins. He urges all who would listen to repent of their sins, to turn away from them, before it is too late. It breaks His heart to watch sinners spurn the free gift of forgiveness that He offers through His son, Jesus Christ. Have you discovered the safety God has provided for you in Jesus Christ? Have your eyes caught a glimpse of the loving Father who beckons you to turn away from the awful cliff that leads to eternal death? The Bible affirms that Jesus is “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). In other words, Jesus is the only way to safety. God promises that all those who turn from sin and trust in Jesus’ work on the cross will have their sins forgiven and enjoy the blessedness of eternal life.”

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Romans 6:1-20

Dead to Sin, Alive to God

What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.

Slaves to Righteousness

What then? Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. I am speaking in human terms, because of your natural limitations. For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification. For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. But what fruit were you getting at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Faith

Orange LiliesFAITH

Pondering lilies… and faith… and how God has formed my faith just as he cares for the lilies.

Jacob had a divine wrestling match with God and until he had that very personal struggle his faith was not cemented, it had not become his own. Yes he knew of his father’s faith, most definitely heard the stories of his grandfather’s faith but he was only living his faith vicariously through their faith. It had not been solidified in his life. We find a similar sentiment in the book of Job. After literally losing everything, his kids, his wealth, his health and spending untold hours arguing with God and his friends, Job finally sees things from God’s perspective. He says this: I had heard rumors about You but now my eyes have seen you.

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So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man. Then the man said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.” But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” The man asked him, “What is your name?” “Jacob,” he answered. Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome.” Jacob said, “Please tell me your name.” But he replied, “Why do you ask my name?” Then he blessed him there. (Genesis 32:24-29)

My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. (Job 42:5)

Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest? Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! (Luke 12:25-28)