Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Wisdom from John



2 John 6  "And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love. (NIV84)

If "we have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us" (1 John 4:16, NASB), then we can "walk in love." If we "abide" in Christ's love for us (John 15:9), then we can "walk in love." 

For apart from Jesus, we can do nothing. (John 15:5)

Sunday, June 7, 2020

The True Way to Live, Move, and Have Our Being




Ephesians 3:16-19, NIV

"I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner  being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be  filled to the measure of all the fullness of God."

This is how we live.
This is how we walk.
This is how we help. 

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Twenty Seconds of Peace

 Isaiah 55:12 "...and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands." ESV



Thursday, April 23, 2020

God's Reassurance in Turbulent Times



I went outside yesterday and captured an immature male summer tanager near the mulberry tree in our backyard. Isn't he the most curious-looking bird? He's sitting in a chinaberry tree. Can you see the mulberry he placed on the limb?


 Later, I saw this mature male summer tanager. It thrills my heart to see these little birds God created coming to my backyard. And also to know that the Lord caused the mulberry tree to spring up right where it did. No one planted it. It suddenly appeared several years ago between our fence and the neighbor's fence behind us. As a believer who loves the Lord and the birds He has made, I don't think that was a coincidence. 

"Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart." Psalm 37:4, NIV84 (Pure desires, of course, not evil ones.)
  
Since sheltering in place this past month, I try to go out for at least thirty minutes every day. It revives my soul to look at the sky and the trees and pray to God and think about Him. I feel closer to God when I'm outside.


Since our church closed and I don't have to study during the week to teach my Sunday School class, I've used my extra time to memorize Psalm 91 in the New International Version (1984). The truth of this psalm is sinking down into my soul. Especially verses 9 and 10. Making the Lord our refuge is key. Dwelling in His shelter (secret place), we can rest in God's protection. Because when we're in trouble, we can call out to Him, and He will deliver us.

Here's the Psalm 91 in the King James Version:
 
  He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.
Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.
He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.
Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;
Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.
A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.
Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.
Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation;
10 There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.
11 For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.
12 They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.
13 Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.
14 Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.
15 He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.
16 With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.

Grace and peace to you,
Joni

Sunday, April 12, 2020

The Roman Road



Happy Easter! Jesus is risen! Praise God for the empty tomb!  Because He lives, we live. Jesus is and always will be the Savior of the world.

God blessed me by sending this robin to my birdbath in my backyard. Either male or female, I know not which, it stayed for several minutes. I took many pictures, but this one is my favorite.

I’ve been memorizing the Roman Road to salvation recently. Thought I’d walk it with you today.

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” Romans 3:23-24, ESV

“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8, NASB

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 6:23, KJV

If you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:9, CSB

May God’s grace and mercy be with us all through the coming days. 


Friday, April 3, 2020

God Is Trustworthy Today, Tomorrow, and Forever



“Never look ahead to the changes and challenges of this life in fear. Instead, as they arise look at them with the full assurance that God, whose you are, will deliver you out of them. Hasn’t He kept you safe up to now? So hold His loving hand tightly, and He will lead you safely through all things. And when you cannot stand, He will carry you in His arms.
Do not look ahead to what may happen tomorrow. The same everlasting Father
who cares for you today will take care of you tomorrow and every day. Either He will
shield you from suffering or He will give you His unwavering strength that you may bear it. Be at peace, then, and set aside all anxious thoughts and worries.”
Francis de Sales, Streams in the Desert

Thursday, April 2, 2020

More Scriptures to Pray Regarding Fear and More Cedar Waxwings

Beth Moore is offering The Great Forsake and Take, a Word document full of Scriptures for taking courage and forsaking fear. She first posted these in 2012 and thought they might be helpful with the Coronavirus outbreak sending fear throughout the world. You can find her blog post and Scriptures here.

It was a beautiful day yesterday, and I went outside with my camera after hearing the cedar waxwings in a tree near my backyard. There's a mulberry bush hanging over my fence, and I captured this little guy who bit off more than he could chew.



I hope you are all staying at home and staying safe. Believe in God. Believe in Jesus.

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

God Makes Us Brave

"So let go my soul and trust in Him; the waves and wind still know His name...." Listening to this from Bethel Music & Kristene DiMarco, You Make Me Brave cd. So appropriate during this pandemic. I know for a fact that God makes us brave. I wouldn't be here if that weren't true. God can do more than we can imagine when we lean and rely on Him. He can make us brave. Even if we're the least in our family.

Anxious for Nothing, Free Max Lucado Resource!

Max Lucado is offering free access to his Anxious for Nothing video sessions on christianbook.com as well as an article: Interrupting the Downward Spiral. You can find these resources here until May 31. What a blessing!

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Living in the Light of Jesus


What does paradise look like to you? 

To me, it’s a world where there is no darkness, only light—a comforting, healing, joyful, peace-giving, godly, love-filled light. Having suffered through deep depression and fear-instilling panic attacks, light is everything! In fact, it was Jesus’ words, “I am the light of the world,” appearing in the darkness of my mind that turned my life around. Stripped of all hope and desperate for relief, the Lord graciously urged me to ask for His help. 

A simple prayer, “Jesus, save me,” was all it took. When I opened my eyes, the blackness was gone. A brownish haze remained. I knew He’d heard me. As I leaned on Him each day, the brownish haze faded—replaced by the light of hope and love—the light of Jesus. He could’ve healed me instantly, but He didn’t. Instead, He taught me to live and rely on Him day by day. He gave me the privilege of watching Him work in my circumstances, changing my life of despair into a life filled with the knowledge of Him, the joy of Him, the love of Him, the peace of Him, the grace of Him.


How priceless your faithful love is, God!
People take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
They are filled from the abundance of your house.
You let them drink from your refreshing stream.
For the wellspring of life is with you.
By means of your light we see light.
(Ps. 36:7-9, Christian Standard Bible)

Grace and Peace,
Joni

Cedar Waxwings 2020

The cedar waxwings have arrived! I've come to look forward to their visits. My mind always goes back to the first time I saw them. It was in 2007. I wrote the story here.  I thank my God that He sends these little ones to me. He knows our hearts. He knows what delights us.

On a different note, check out the social distancing in the last pic. :)





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Friday, March 27, 2020

Won't You Be My Neighbor?


This little girl keeps eating birdseed from my feeder. She can get under the squirrel guard I put up by jumping from the trunk of the tree to the feeder. Smart girl (or boy). There's babies around, so I believe it's a girl.

Our county has just been issued a stay-at-home order because of Covid-19. Guess she'll be the only neighbor I'll see for awhile.

"Let not your heart be troubled; ye believe in God, believe also in Me. John 14:1

"Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." John 14:27

Thursday, March 26, 2020

God's Blessing in My Backyard

For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. Ro.1:20, English Standard Version