Ocean Heart

Ocean HeartOCEAN HEART

Gazing upon this heart. Do you see it in the photo? God formed that! Read also to see the heart of God and His people in the passages below. God does that! Pondering those too.

Psalm 65:1-13

1 What mighty praise, O God, belongs to you in Zion. We will fulfill our vows to you,
2 for you answer our prayers. All of us must come to you.
3 Though we are overwhelmed by our sins, you forgive them all.
4 What joy for those you choose to bring near, those who live in your holy courts. What festivities await us inside your holy Temple.
5 You faithfully answer our prayers with awesome deeds, O God our savior. You are the hope of everyone on earth, even those who sail on distant seas.
6 You formed the mountains by your power and armed yourself with mighty strength.
7 You quieted the raging oceans with their pounding waves and silenced the shouting of the nations.
8 Those who live at the ends of the earth stand in awe of your wonders. From where the sun rises to where it sets, you inspire shouts of joy.
9 You take care of the earth and water it, making it rich and fertile. The river of God has plenty of water; it provides a bountiful harvest of grain, for you have ordered it so.
10 You drench the plowed ground with rain, melting the clods and leveling the ridges. You soften the earth with showers and bless its abundant crops.
11 You crown the year with a bountiful harvest; even the hard pathways overflow with abundance.
12 The grasslands of the wilderness become a lush pasture, and the hillsides blossom with joy.
13 The meadows are clothed with flocks of sheep, and the valleys are carpeted with grain. They all shout and sing for joy!

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1 Chronicles 29:10-20

10 Then David praised the Lord in the presence of the whole assembly: “O Lord, the God of our ancestor Israel, may you be praised forever and ever!
11 Yours, O Lord, is the greatness, the power, the glory, the victory, and the majesty. Everything in the heavens and on earth is yours, O Lord, and this is your kingdom. We adore you as the one who is over all things.
12 Wealth and honor come from you alone, for you rule over everything. Power and might are in your hand, and at your discretion people are made great and given strength.
13 “O our God, we thank you and praise your glorious name!
14 But who am I, and who are my people, that we could give anything to you? Everything we have has come from you, and we give you only what you first gave us!
15 We are here for only a moment, visitors and strangers in the land as our ancestors were before us. Our days on earth are like a passing shadow, gone so soon without a trace.
16 “O Lord our God, even this material we have gathered to build a Temple to honor your holy name comes from you! It all belongs to you!
17 I know, my God, that you examine our hearts and rejoice when you find integrity there. You know I have done all this with good motives, and I have watched your people offer their gifts willingly and joyously.
18 “O Lord, the God of our ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, make your people always want to obey you. See to it that their love for you never changes.
19 Give my son Solomon the wholehearted desire to obey all your commands, laws, and decrees, and to do everything necessary to build this Temple, for which I have made these preparations.”
20 Then David said to the whole assembly, “Give praise to the Lord your God!” And the entire assembly praised the Lord, the God of their ancestors, and they bowed low and knelt before the Lord and the king.

Purity

Purity CreaturePurity

Pondering as I gaze upon this beautiful creature how it symbolizes grace and purity. Quite the opposite of what I see regarding the culture wars, calling evil good and good evil.

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Woe to those who call evil good and good evil,
who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and shrewd in their own sight! (Isaiah 5:20-21)

Surrender

Micah - The Walking Dead JailSURRENDER

Though a staged picture taken of my son at a “Walking Dead” set it prompts the need for SURRENDER to the ONE and ONLY who gives meaning to life, to be crucified with Christ.

The phrase “it is no longer I who live” from Galatians 2:20 does not mean that I have no personality of my own; it simply means that my own personal interests and goals no longer direct my life. Instead, “but Christ who lives in me” provides the direction, purpose and strength in all that I do. Truth is there is nothing good that dwells in me apart from Christ. The good news is the life I once lived in the flesh, a life that was self-centered, I now live by faith in the resurrected life in Christ that resides in me. The question is, does he dwell within you? For me the old way of life was crucified. I am no longer a slave to the sinful desires of the flesh. The power of sin is broken.

The Ten Commandments given to us in the Old Testament revealed an inability, incapability to fulfill perfectly, therefore pointed me to Christ. Why Christ? He fulfilled the requirement once and for all. He loved and gave himself up for me (and you). If I think I can fulfill the “good enough” requirement through enough “good works” then I have quite frankly slapped the face, the grace of God.

Have you?

In the same way that Christ’ blood washed away my sin, it is imperative that I (and you) surrender through the empowering work of the Spirit, and in obedience take every thought captive to obey Christ; to be on guard and very aware of the temptation to war in or by the flesh. The pattern of this world will not measure up, therefore by lining up what tickles my ears with the Word of God will ultimately destroy the arguments, opinions or philosophies that come against the knowledge of God.

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I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose. (Galatians 2:20-21)

For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete. (2 Corinthians 10:4-6)

Heart

Heart in the CloudsHEART

Pondering the heart of God, His unconditional love for us as expressed so profoundly in creation. Us being made to reflect His image for our good and His glory.

The desire of Satan on the other hand is to destroy that image. That which honors God and of ultimate good for humanity. And due to the hardness of mankind’s heart, a choice to turn against, and because God allows free-will, God gives man over to dishonorable passions.

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For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures. Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error. And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them. (Romans 1:18-32)

My Father

My Father

MY FATHER

Celebrating since it’s Father’s Day these powerful truths.

God the Father…
loves,
cares,
forgives,
is compassionate,
giving,
understanding,
accepting,
satisfies,
pursues,
pardons,
heals,
redeems,
renews,
is loving-kindness,
righteous,
gracious,
and sovereign.

On the other hand the enemy of our soul wants us to believe quite the opposite.
Consider these words of wisdom from Blake K Healy…

“While part of the strategy of the demonic is to deceive us into believing lies about ourselves, the other part is trying to get us to believe those lies about others. I don’t know why we feel the compulsion to condemn. May-be it makes us feel better about ourselves or our sense of justice becomes tweaked by our own wounds. Whatever the reason, this is not how God treats people. He sent his son to die for the right to erase our sins from the record.”

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Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. (1 Peter 5:8)

Fruit

Orange FruitFRUIT

Found this fruit. Can you guess what it is? It looks and feels like it doesn’t want to be eaten and something you might find in the ocean but won’t. Very refreshingly tasty.

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Then God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you. (Genesis 1:29)

Then God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation: plants yielding seed, and fruit trees on the earth bearing fruit after their kind with seed in them”; and it was so. (Genesis 1:11)

See

Heart in the CloudsSEE

Recently I took this picture while cruising on a lake one Saturday morning with dear friends. Then suddenly it became an AHA moment. Wide-eyed and gazing into the clouds, intrigued, it is here God whispers …

Do you see what I made?
Sun and clouds intensifying.
Did you hear what I said?
White and blue meshing.
Do you see what I see?
Embrace, consider ME!

Pondering afresh what I often considered an inadequacy…
a flaw in myself,
is really just an opportunity for God’s STRENGTH of HEART to be made manifest;
not misunderstanding the weakness,
but representing the constant need for God,
being used to draw me closer!
I am to embrace it!

Did you see, hear it too?
GOD loves us BIG!
Real BIG!
Big enough to fill the hole in my heart,
your heart,
with an un-ending,
un-dying,
God-sized PORTION,
each moment for each day!

Now that’s a GOD MOMENT, a BIG HEART-SHAPED KISS from HEAVEN!

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My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. (Psalm 73:26)

Shadow

Beautiful CreatureSHADOW

Pondering this created creature in all its eloquence, beauty. Though appearing to be perfect, in reality is not fully. It’s only a SHADOW of what is to come.

For now all of creation has its limits but stand in awe for God is limitless! Soon and very soon Christ will return and creation as we know it will be changed, glorified.

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The earth is the Lord’s, and all it contains, The world, and those who dwell in it. For He has founded it upon the seas, And established it upon the rivers (Psalm 24:1-2).

By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, And by the breath of His mouth all their host. He gathers the waters of the sea together as a heap; He lays up the deeps in storehouses. Let all the earth fear the Lord; Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him. For He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast (Psalm 33:6-9).

The heavens are Thine, the earth also is Thine; The world and all it contains, Thou hast founded them (Psalm 89:11).

For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities– all things have been created by Him and for Him (Colossians 1:16).