“Though hand join in hand, the wicked shall not be unpunished; but the seed of the righteous shall be delivered.”
Take my hand. I will lead you into places unknown. Places deep, Where I can teach you how to walk with Me on water. To stand beside Me, as we walk on water. Let Me take you to places that are beyond anything you can comprehend. Grab a hold of My promises and don’t let go.
My heart hurts for the lost.
I want to see people healed. I long for breakthroughs to problems, but more than anything I yearn for souls.
If only we could grab the hand of our lost loved ones and pull them into heaven with us.
But we can grasp the hand of Jesus in prayer, believing that He will grab a hold of their hand and pull them in. That they will come to thesaving knowledgeof our Lord Jesus Christ.
God is calling to us. To trust deeper. To hope higher. To walk on water in our believing.
For me, it is believing that no matter the outlook or what the circumstances say ~
“the seed of the righteous SHALL be delivered!”
Will you join me in believing for the souls of our lost or wayward loved ones? Christ loves them all.
I love you With an abiding love. It is not altered By the certainty Of your inadequacies. It does not change With the rippling tide Of your shortcomings. It does not fade With the fluctuations
Of your loyalty.
It is constant, Surrounding, Abiding, And everlasting.
“So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:13 ESV
Chester loves waiting at the threshold of our front door, for the possibilities it affords:
A chance to bark at something, the ability to warm himself on sunny days or the possibility that someone will take him for a walk.
Threshold of opportunities
I like walking across the threshold of a church door, because of the opportunities it brings:
A chance to fellowship with other believers, an avenue to show my love for God through worship and an opportunity to grow in my relationship with Him.
Threshold of life ~ this stone enclosure reminded me of the empty tomb
Jesus rejoiced crossing back over the threshold of the grave, by rising from the dead, knowing the accessibility to life it would offer us:
A chance for a brand new life through a restored relationship with God, the privilege of a Spirit-filled life through unrestricted admittance to His presence and the accessibility of eternal life through accepting Christ’s sacrifice for our sins.
Through Jesus, we can cross over the threshold from death to life.
“Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.”
Sand frozen in time Layered canyon sea barrier Tide swiftly washes
When I took this photo, the tide was receding. An entire section of the shore stood taller than that closer to the ocean, with the sand above separated by the collapse of the wet shore beneath. The tide had formed a miniature sea wall, like a barrier.
However, when photographed from a close up perspective, the wall looked as large as that of the Grand Canyon, with the shells on the surface above mere spectators of the imposing scene below.
The wall was actually only about a foot high and was really no match for the next high tide.
Varied perspectives in photography intrigue me, particularly close shots. I like the details in things, especially in nature. Things that others sometimes miss.
I also try to appreciate people others dismiss. It is the reason that for years I have worked with adults with special needs at my church. They are a group many consider as the least of these among us; cute when young, but forgotten when older.
Those of us who work with them, though, have discovered a secret; one found only by interacting with them close enough to gain their trust, and by overcoming personal barriers of fear or disdain.
The secret is that those with special needs are some of the most loving, giving people. Unconcerned and often unaware about their impairments, they instead spend their time just enjoying life and loving others.
In my short time teaching them, I am the one who has learned. Had I not overcome the barrier of my hesitations, and drawn near enough to see them from a perspective beyond their disabilities, though, I would have missed out on gaining their sweet friendships.
As the tide quickly washes away a tiny sea wall barrier, I had to let God erase my fears of loving those viewed as unlovely. By doing so, the one blessed has been me.
“Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.“ Matthew 25:40
Should I assume all is OK, When I never hear from your lips That you long for God’s word
And that His presence, you miss?
Should I stop worrying That you are teetering on the edge, When the world means more Than following Christ instead?
Should I just leave you alone And stop longing for your return, Since you seem happy far from home
And seem content to stay lukewarm?
The truth is that I will never give up Or stop praying because, you see, Heaven and hell are both real And last for an eternity.
“It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment“ Hebrews 9:27
“But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.” 1 Peter 4:7
Like me, do you have a prodigal who has wandered far from home? Are you unsure about the certainty of their salvation? No matter what the circumstances look like, purpose in your heart never to give up. Instead, keep praying and believing for their return to Christ.
God loves His prodigals. He never gives up on them.
God, help me to rise above despair. To stay afloat With my back to its gloomy bog And my face lifted high; Upward, unafraid.
I have always been a decent swimmer, which probably has something to do with the fact that I grew up near the ocean.
Swimming in the Atlantic was not easy. Its forceful waves and rigorous currents presented many aquatic challenges, especially for a child. However, since I was the only girl, I was not about to let my brothers outdo me. Rather than buckle, I allowed the strong waves and my competitive spirit to make me a better a swimmer.
I do recall at least two frightening experiences, though. One was a time when a particularly strong wave smashed into me unawares, taking me under and pinning me to the ocean floor for longer than was comfortable.
The other was the time I encountered a small riptide. Fortunately, my dad had prepared us by instructing about how to swim out of one. However, the forceful pull happened so fast that by the time I realized it, I was already in water over my head, further away from shore.
Strategies for Staying Afloat in the Ocean
Following my dad’s instructions, I swam perpendicular to the current and broke free from its insidious grip. Because I had so far to swim back to land, though, I tired quickly. To conserve energy, I alternated swimming with floating on my back, a survival strategy when struggling to stay afloat.
I never felt afraid of losing my life, but it was a wake up call about the dangers of open sea swimming.
At times, the storms in life can make us feel like we won’t make it. Very often, they ravish our hope and bring despair. They require similar strategies for survival.
Strategies for Staying Above Despair
Like a riptide, devastating circumstances can come upon us suddenly, making us feel as though we are being pulled apart at the seams. With their onslaught, they make life seem as though it is catapulting out of control.
Rather than succumb under the pressure, we can instead allow the Lord to lead us in a direction opposite the raging torrent. With His help, our spirits can rise upward, perpendicular to the current. In His presence, no more will the hurtful tide overwhelm.
Since the difficult problems of life do not always subside as quickly as they arrive, it is easy to grow weary. To conserve energy, these are perfect opportunities for turning over and floating on your back, so to speak. Of letting go of all the worries and frustrations, and staying afloat by fixing your eyes on Christ and resting in His embrace.
Remember. God is always there to help you navigate the tide and equip you to stay above despair. Through Him, we are not just survivors; we are over-comers. He can even lift us up to walk on water!
“In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.“ John 16:33
This version of Oceans is different from what I have heard on the radio. By a male artist, Hillsong United ‘Zion’
Right after my husband and I arrived at our recent Gulf Shores beach destination, we witnessed the most beautiful sunset. The scattered clouds turned rosy from the sun’s glow, and their reflection in the gentle ebb of the tide was mesmerizing.
Sunset glow ~ my favorite of these sunset shots
I could focus on nothing else.
Sunset end ~ I liked how this shot showed the tide receding
The scene was so mesmerizing, in fact, that I was unaware of something else going on behind me.
Our helpful fisherman ~ taken with a high ISO, making it look like daylight
Had it not been for a nearby fisherman’s suggestion that I turn around, I might have missed a wonderful surprise.
Moonrise first glimpse
Turning, I discovered yet another display of God’s glory.
The sun was gone and darkness had settled, as I caught my first glimpse of a brilliant, full moon rising on the opposite horizon. Although I do not have a strong enough zoom to do it justice, the size and color of the moon against the then dusky blue sky was amazing.
Sometimes we get so focused on one thing or one problem that we miss something marvelous God is doing in another area of our lives. We forget that behind the scenes, He is working tediously on prayer needs for which we have prayed fervently.
Like the fisherman had to get me to turn around to see the gorgeous moon, we need to allow the Holy Spirit to direct our focus from our limited view to the grand picture; of the spectacular things He is doing, often right before our eyes. To see past the temporal to the eternal.
Soar with Me into places of rest Sing with Me unto joyous celest’ Step with me into palaces blessed Stay with Me unto eternity’s breadth
“Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest.“ Psalm 55:6
As followers of Christ, we can enter into His rest anytime and anywhere. However, we all have those times when we feel the need to get away from it all. From the pressures and responsibilities. My husband and I had a chance to do just that this past weekend, by spending time at the beach in Gulf Shores, Alabama.
I have written before about how much I love the ocean. Walking beside it, and listening to the waves lapping against the shore, brings healing to my soul. This weekend was no exception.
As we were driving back home, I told my husband that I couldn’t remember a time that had felt so relaxing and enjoyable. It was a sweet trip filled with special moments of spending time together and of rest.
Since my camera and tripod were on my essentials pack list, I also spent time taking lots of photos. When done sorting, I hope to share many of them with you soon.
I captured the shot above on our last morning at the beach. As I viewed the sunrise and saw the seagull flying gracefully towards the horizon, I thought of how I long to just soar away from all the problems of this life and enter into my heavenly rest.
One glorious day, the Sun will rise in our eternal home and never set. Oh, for that day!