Bragging on the wonderous works of my God

Posts tagged ‘creation’

Going Green

Today, we hear all over the media about “going green.”   Recycle, reuse, replenish.  Take care of what we’ve got.  I’m all for being a good steward of what God has given us but just bear with me here for a minute.

One commercial caught my attention the other day and was talking about protecting electricity, our “precious resource.”  Being a believer in the God of creation, I firmly believe that what He created will remain until He decides it is time for it to stop.  Nothing that man does can “extend” our water supply or electricity, for that matter.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that we cannot pretend to even try to keep this world going.  It’s not in my job description to keep the universe going.  God is in control and I can’t worry about what I can’t control. I guess what tweaked my brain on this one was that somehow humanity actually thinks they are in control.

Again, I don’t have any issues with going green.  We are to be good stewards of what God has graciously given us.

You know what amazes me?  That the world hasn’t gone dry, spring happens every year, Oh and get this one…the sun “rises” every morning…without our help.  God’s got this.  🙂

Believing God to continue doing the impossible keeps me at peace.

 

Change

This morning, I got up an hour earlier than normal (according to my body).  According to my clock, it was an hour later. It will take me the rest of the week to re-shift the time I’ve been used to for the past 6 months.

You know what I don’t get?  Why does mankind feel like he needs to “fix” what God has already created?  The summertime extends daylight hours without our assistance.  God took care of that by Himself.  He really doesn’t need our help.

Whenever mankind attempts to “better” what God created, it is disastrous. We don’t need genetically engineered crops.  They are making people sick and causing all sorts of health issues.  We don’t need cloned animals.

If we took care of the land the way God designed it, we wouldn’t have super bugs.  The conventional farmers who plant the same crops day in and day out, year after year, have issues with a super infestation for that particular crop.  It also depletes the soil of vital nutrients. (source:  “Fresh”; www.freshthemovie.com)

Rotate crops in and out for 6 years, give the land a rest for the 7th. God knows what He’s talking about.  He created it and even had it written down in His book for us to go by.  Imagine that!

The women who are constantly going for plastic surgeries and botox because of the unreal body types on magazines in the grocery store checkout lines.  The sad part of that is those pictures are airbrushed.  NOBODY looks that perfect.  God created each one of us unique.  We are not made up of entirely outer “beauty.”

I Sam 16:7 (NIV) But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”

If what is in our heart is the only thing that matters to almighty God, why should we worry and fret over the exterior?  I’m not saying not to take a shower or put on make up if you want to perk up your droopy eyes.  We shouldn’t obsess to the point that we are having surgeons play God with our face and body.   If we eat whole, healthy, natural foods and avoid the processed stuff, we will be healthy.  As long as I walk on planet earth, I want to be healthy.  I know once I get into Heaven, I will have a perfect, glorified body. I can guarantee you there we will not be worried about who has the longest, shiniest hair.  We will all be focused on Christ.  He is all that matters anyway.

My sister recently went on a missions trip to the Philippines. She said there were billboards all over advertising “American Eyes” compliments of the nearest plastic surgeon.  How sad!

Satan has pulled us into his web of lies and people are falling hard for that one.  “Your nose is too big.”  “Your legs are too short.”  “Your eyes should be blue.”  Really???  Compared to who? 

Jesus snapped that short when one of the disciples was comparing himself to another in John 21:22 “Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.”   Ouch.

Focus on Christ. Take care of your body. It is the temple of the Holy Spirit, if you have accepted Him as Savior.

The apostle Paul was alive when the Olympics first began.  He took care of his physical body so he could continue the work he was commissioned to do.

I Cor. 9:24-27 (NET) “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.

All that God created is good. How many times during the creation account in Genesis does it say, “And God saw that it was good?”  7 times.  Seven is the number of perfection/completion.   And there you have it.

We’ve made a mess of things as it is.  Scientists/Frankensteins need to leave what God created alone.

Being Yourself

I love my dog.  She is just a constant companion and I love just looking at all of her spots and colors and it causes me to sit in wonder at God.  It’s just so beautiful.

We were sitting in our spare bedroom this past weekend doing “Bible study.”  Basically, I do my Bible study and she sleeps/snores.  But she knows when I say, “You ready to do Bible study?”  to head toward the bed. She loves it.

I sat for a few moments staring at her while she stared at me and I started thinking about dogs in general.  They are who they are.  They don’t compare themselves to other dogs or wish they were taller, skinnier or that their fur was brown instead of yellow because Fluffy looks good in that color. They accept you for who you are, too.  It doesn’t matter if you haven’t brushed your teeth (they actually prefer the bad breath, I think) or if you didn’t apply make-up that day.  They love you for you.  You really don’t have to do anything to earn their love.  They are loyal creatures.

Why can’t we be more like them? For instance, love ourselves for who God created us to be without envying others and wishing we were taller, skinnier, blonde or whatever.  Each of us were created to be a unique part of the body of Christ.  If everybody was the head, then who would be the hands or feet?  It wouldn’t be a complete body then, would it?

God does not look at us like we look at each other.  He looks at our heart.  He searches our motives. If we have accepted Christ as our Savior, He sees His Son’s blood covering our sin.

Can you imagine how freeing it would be if we quit worrying about how we looked and accepted ourselves as we are and loved with compassion as Jesus did?  No judging, no gossiping, no jealousy, no bitterness…sounds blissful, doesn’t it?

What do you think people in third world countries do?  They sure aren’t caught up in what the latest fashion is or what their neighbor just bought.  They are grateful to have food to eat and clothes on their back.

“It is for freedom that Christ set us free.”  Gal 5:1    And as Francesca Battistelli put it, “I’m free to be me!”  Live free in Christ.  It is the only way to live.

 

Hold On Tight!

Do you ever feel like you are flying by the seat of your pants and life is just nuts and you wonder when you are going to land?  Last week was just that nuts for me.  It seemed like the longest week of my life but it was so busy!

God has just been so merciful and gracious, in spite of my blunders.  I love that about Him! 

As some of you may or may not know, we are upside down in a monstrous mortgage that we cannot pay.  We realized that we were in a sinking ship and after much prayer….and I mean MUCH prayer…to the point that  I sometimes felt like God was sighing as I repeatedly came to Him for an answer or to just lay out what was on my heart, we knew we had to give up our home.  I had so many “what ifs” going on and “how?” and all sorts of questions imaginable.  But another thing about God that I love is that He is so patient and He remembers that we are but dust and understands that as Beth Moore put it, “it is scary to be us.”  We don’t know everything like He does.  Trusting in blind faith is hard only when you aren’t sure the path you are taking is the right one. That’s the problem I was having. 

We had looked around at a few rentals and I was so discouraged by what I saw.  One day I had lunch with a friend from church and she said, “Why don’t you rent Jason’s house? He hasn’t been able to sell it for a year.”  Jason was our former youth minister who took a position in another state.  With the housing market being the way it is, his house was just sitting.  So I called him and offered what we could afford to pay monthly.  He said he hadn’t really considered renting it but it was an idea he would run by his wife.  Long story short, we came to an agreement.  It happened to be just as his current listing for sale was ending and no prospects in sight.  I believe all of this was God’s timing, for both of us.  He was paying two mortgages and we were paying a super-steep one.

This house is a little smaller than the one we were in but I love everything about it.  You know the Scripture in Psalms that says, “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart?” I know that to be so true!  Indulge me for a moment to share how He has done just that!! 

Our house that we owned faced east and west. Everytime the wind blew, we didn’t get it coming inside.  It was rare for their to be an east/west wind. It always seemed to come north/south.  It used to frustrate me so bad when I wanted the wind and fresh air to flow through the house.  But this house we are renting faces north/south. I can open my windows and get a wonderful breeze!  I know some of you are probably rolling your eyes right now. My teens would definitely do that.  But this is another thing I love about God, if it matters to me, it matters to Him! 

When Louis and I got married back in 1986, we moved to a neighborhood where we were on the main road.  Cars at all hours of the night driving by.  I didn’t want that again.  But, the house we moved into was the same.  It wasn’t bad until the last couple of years.  Boom-boom boxes from cars coming by at 10-11 o’clock at night drove me nuts.  Car lights shining in the windows because of  the way the street turned.  People tossing their trash into our yard.  I left Savannah to get away from that and here we were right back in the mess.  The rental is off the beaten path.  A single driveway leads to our house and our neighbor’s.  It is so quiet out here.  I can see the stars! No blinding lights from the neighbor’s big halogen lights!  No trains going by at all hours of the night either.  I just love it!!

 There is a chain of convenience stores in our area that I just love. They are clean and have amazing food and their chewy ice can’t be beat. Everytime I go near a Parkers, I go in it.  I have fussed about them not coming to Rincon—even sent them an email. They are everywhere else so why not there??  Well, we are now less than 5 minutes from one.  WooHoo!  While we were in the process of moving, and obviously too tired to cook, we have been eating there. The macaroni and cheese is homemade and the fried chicken is delicious!  I think I’m going to turn into a fried chicken, I’ve eaten that so much in the past week.  God is so good!

I fell in love with Effingham county mainly because of the ruralness of it.  The northern part has farms and when I drive past those, I would almost veer off the road because I was too busy enjoying God’s creation:  cows, goats, sheep, donkeys, pigs, horses…I just love it.  You know what is funny?  If we had been looking for a house to buy, I more than likely would have never considered where we are now.  But God, in His sovereignty, knew exactly what I loved and even though “this world is not my home,”  He gave us a wonderful place to live on this planet until our time on earth is done. 

Last week was moving week for us.  I rented the U-haul and about that time, my husband’s work picked up so much that he couldn’t take off.  My son was working night shift.  It was raining.  What a crazy time.  I had to be the motivating factor in getting it all done.  My husband seemed to think we could take our time and move a little at the time.  It would be OK if we lived just around the corner but it was a 25 mile round trip and gas is not cheap.  We have experienced challenges during this and it just seemed like we were overwhelmed but the Lord got us through it.  My van was wrecked  (my son’s fiance was coming to pick me up from one house to the next and not knowing where she was, ran the van over a stump and ripped off the spare and disconnected the a/c hoses from the back) and our refrigerator burned out (ice maker was smoking and kicked the breakers), thank the Lord we had another one. Inspite of all of the obstacles, bruises and soreness…we are still here, Praise God! 

I’m telling ya, life is a wild ride.  God is never boring. So hold on tight and enjoy every moment!

Whiter Than Snow

Remember singing that song in church? “Whiter than snow, yes, whiter than snow. Jesus can wash me whiter than snow.”

I always wondered what that meant. I mean, after all, snow is white. How can you get whiter?? God showed me last week when we got an unusual snowfall here in the deep south. The beautiful, large white snowflakes fell against the dark of night and left us with about 2 inches of snow on the ground. It was gorgeous and delightful since we haven’t had a snowfall like that since 1989.

As I glanced across the yards in the light of day and saw the snow-covered lawns, it dawned on me what that song meant. Snow blankets everything including dirt and causes it to be white and clean-looking. That’s how Jesus’ blood covers us. Our dirt is covered and made clean in God’s eyes because of what Jesus did for us on Calvary.

I love it that God gives us analogies in nature to understand some of His greatest truths, don’t you?

Overanalyze it?

Do you find yourself overanalyzing things?  I do.  Sometimes that’s a good thing and other times, it is just wasted energy. 

The other day as I walked out of a room and back into it, my dog wagged her tail as if I had been gone a long time. She was happy to see me.  It made me think about how God sees us.  I heard a pastor one time say that when we wake up, God is delighted to see us.  He loves us so much that He wants to spend time with us.  Some people are going to take this wrong but let me preface this by saying that the things God created gave us glimpses of His glory and I’m using this as that.  I am not saying that God is like a dog.  I am saying to open your mind and see Him as the loving God that He truly is.

No matter how bad I feel, no matter how bad I look, no matter how bad my breath is…my dog loves me.  She doesn’t care if my hair is messy or if I am wearing make-up. She doesn’t seem to notice. She wags her tail happily as I come into the room and licks my face whenever she can get to it.  I accept that love without question.  Do we accept the agape love from God that He so freely gives us as easily as we do from one of our pets?

How many of us are “hiding” in shame from God because of who we are inside?  Do you realize you cannot “hide” from God?  He knows every intimate detail of your life.  HE created it! He sees everything you do in secret.  He knows your inmost thoughts.  Yet, in spite of all of that, He loves you anyway.  It has NOTHING to do with what you have or haven’t done.  It is who HE is.  He IS love.  He cannot deny Himself. 

He loved us so much that He died a horrible death to redeem us back from sin. 

How many times have you been told “God loves you” and you blew it off?  The love that we share with another soul on this planet pales in comparison to how He feels about you and me.  If we were the only one on this planet, He would have died for us.  He loves us that much.  LET Him love you. I was born and raised in a Christian home.  But it wasn’t until I went through Henry Blackaby’s “Experiencing God” that I realized that I was not “letting” God love me.  I remember when the light bulb went off in my mind, I just cried.  I took the wall to my heart down.  It is a shame and totally about pride when you don’t think you are good enough. God hates pride.

Look at the intricate way you are put together.  Do you really think that happened by chance?  Look at creation and how it works together and has been going and keeps going every day.  The sun doesn’t move out of place.  We have just the right amount of oxygen in our atmosphere not to kill us.  Our God is an awesome God.  He is everywhere all at once. 

Have you ever sat and just studied a cat?  The way the fur grows, all of the colors, how some fur stops at a certain length, how their heads almost do a one-eighty degree turn, the sandpaper tongue…yet you will not find two exactly alike. You will never find two snowflakes alike or two leaves.  Have you ever seen a classroom full of kids draw? Nobody draws the same thing.  Each person is individually created and designed purposefully by God.  God has an amazing, indescribable, unfathomable imagination. 

Sometimes I think about all of the people since the beginning of time that have been created and wonder how He could love and want a relationship with that many people.  My finite mind cannot comprehend some of the great truths of Scripture. 

We see glimpses of God in everything on this earth.  He has given us emotions, just as He has, but only a taste.  We were not given a full dose because we cannot handle it.  One day when we are gone from earth and are living with the Lord, we’ll see everything in the spiritual realm as it truly is.  One TV commercial that comes to mind as an analogy is about an allergy medication.  The screen is not really clear.  It has a film over it.  When you take that medication, the film disappears and you see brilliant colors and everything so clearly.  Even the apostle Paul says that right now we see in a mirror dimly but one day we will see Him just as He is and we will be like Him. 

I spend a lot of time lost in thought pondering the Word and the wonder of God.  It is sometimes during those quiet moments that He gives me a glimpse of Himself.  I love it when He does that!  As a child of God, I think it is OK to overanalyze things.  God is very deep.  He said in His Word that we will find Him when we seek Him with all of our heart.  Are you seeking God today?

Religion

A few days ago, I was riding with a group on a tour bus viewing various new construction homes in our area.  Somehow the conversation turned to each person’s religious actions and beliefs.

One woman stated that she liked going to the Lutheran church because she knew exactly what was expected of her and what “she was supposed to do.”  Exactly.  Religion is about YOU doing something.  It is man-made.

Pride keeps us from accepting a free gift or help from anybody so religion was created to help us “feel better” about working toward Heaven.

What God has given us is a GIFT.  You cannot earn your way to Heaven…period. 

It amazes me when I listen to others talk about church.  Catholics have their rituals and they are comfortable doing this weekly.  Does it edify anybody?  Does it change lives for the better?  I don’t think so.  If you knew exactly what you were going to do every moment of every service, what is the point in going?

I’m not saying one “religion” is better than the other.  Far from it.  I am saying that religion is not made by God.  He gave us freedom through Jesus Christ and His death, burial and resurrection.  All we have to do is believe.  Wow…too simple?

OK.  If somebody hands you a gift, do you offer to pay for it?  No.  In order to get the gift, what do you have to do?  Receive it.  No strings attached.  It is humbling? Yes.  Do you have to knock your pride out of the way? Absolutely.

That is one of the reasons why God hates pride.  Man can do nothing without Him. 

Jesus died to set us free.  Free from the confines of man’s made up rules.  Freedom from legalism.  He’s not saying go hog-wild and do what you please.  But nowhere in the Bible does it teach us to pray to Mary.  She was human, just like you and me.   Nowhere in Scripture does it say we have to ride bicycles or live in poverty or take vows of celibacy. 

Each of us, as we are saved by believing in Jesus Christ, God’s Son, to save us from our sins, are given a gift of the Holy Spirit.  This enables us to have a discerning spirit to know what is right and what is wrong.  For some, having a glass of wine is ok. They do not take it to extremes or get drunk or become alcoholics.  Each of us are different.  But, we also shouldn’t cause others to stumble in their walk with the Lord.  We shouldn’t misrepresent Him or tarnish His name.

Our purpose on this earth is to glorify Him and to bring others to Him.  Our rewards are in Heaven.  I, for one, am looking forward to the Rapture of the saints.  Anytime I get frustrated about the world in which we live, I start singing that song, “This world is not my home….I’m just a passin’ through…my treasures are laid up…somewhere beyond the blue…the angels beckon me from Heaven’s open door…no I don’t feel at home in this world anymore.” 

There is beauty in this world but none can compare to what awaits those who have accepted Christ as Savior.  I love taking photos of nature.  It just brings me such joy to study the mind of my Creator.  I cannot wait to meet Him.  I know this:  I am going to hug Jesus for what He’s done for me.  I am in awe of Him.  He’s my best friend and I cannot imagine living without Him. 

To God be the glory, great things He has done! So loved He the world that He gave us His Son.  Thank you, Father!

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