Wednesday, May 17, 2017

God Gives Second Chances

This is an email devotional I received today. I don't know the source since it came from a prayer requests email list. I am so thankful for God's ever-lasting love and faithfulness!

Exodus 34:1
The Lord said to Moses, “Chisel out two stone tablets like the first ones, and I will write on them the words that were on the first tablets, which you broke. – Exodus 34:1 (NIV)

Moses had broken the first set of tablets in a fit of anger when he saw the Israelites worshiping at a golden calf that was made while he was meeting with God on Mt. Sinai. Yet even the anger of Moses would not stop the purposes of God. This picture is throughout the Bible—God gives second chances. God’s steadfast love extends to the heavens. His faithfulness to the clouds.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Ten Year Anniversary

It's been ten years since I first started this blog! I can hardly believe it. Blessings to all of you who have stuck with my writing all these years. My first blog post was May 1, 2007. I just checked and so far that post has seen 117,962 page views. That's incredible to me. If you only knew how my heart pounded when I pressed the "Publish" button that first time. To God alone be the glory for all He has done in my life and for the way He has used this blog to minister to others. 

I thought that I would repost my original blog entry in honor of this tenth year anniversary. Grace and peace to you all in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.

Original post from May 1, 2007:

These are verses I used to defeat panic and daily anxiety. I read these verses day and night to get the truth of them into me. My panic attacks were very severe. But nothing is more powerful than God. When I had enough faith to pray them to God and to thank Him that He meant these verses for me, my panic attacks went away. Eventually, they stopped coming altogether. I pray these verses will help free others from panic and daily anxiety as well. After reading Beth Moore's book, Praying God's Word, I learned to personalize the verses--put my name in them. That really helped. The first verse is an example. (Please note that I am quoting the KJV here due to copyright laws. My personal preference and the version I copied the verses from originally were from the NIV 1984 edition.)

Isaiah 41:10 "Fear thou not; for I am with thee, Joni: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness."

Isaiah 41:13 "For I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.

Isaiah 43:1-4 "Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour....Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee...."

Joshua 1:5-7,9  "As I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. Be strong and of a good courage....Only be thou strong and very courageous..Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.".
Psalm 107:13-16  "Then they cried unto the LORD in their trouble, and he saved them out of their distresses. He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and brake their bands in sunder.
Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!
For he hath broken the gates of brass, and cut the bars of iron in sunder."

Phillipians 4:6-7 "Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."

Psalm 91: 1-2, 4-6 "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. 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."

Psalm 91: 14-16 "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. He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him. With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation."

Isaiah 54:10 "For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the LORD that hath mercy on thee."
2 Timothy 1:7 "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind."

Proverbs 1:33 "But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.
1 Peter 5:7 Cast all you anxiety on Him because He cares for you."

Isaiah 26:3 "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee; because he trusteth in thee."

Romans 8:6 "For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace."
Isaiah 59:19 "When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him."

Ephesians 2:14 "For he is our peace."

Isaiah 51:12-15 "I, even I, am he that comforteth you: who art thou, that thou shouldest be afraid of a man that shall die, and of the son of man which shall be made as grass; And forgettest the LORD thy maker, that hath stretched forth the heavens, and laid the foundations of the earth; and hast feared continually every day because of the fury of the oppressor....But I am the LORD thy God, that divided the sea, whose waves roared: The LORD of hosts is his name.
Zephaniah 3:17 "The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing."

Ephesians 6:10-11 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

Proverbs 2:7-8 He holds victory in store for the upright, He is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, for He guards the course of the just and protects the way of His faithful ones. (New International Version)

Hebrews 13:5-6 God has said, "Never will I leave you. Never will I forsake you." So we say with confidence, "The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid." (New International Version)

2 Peter 1:3-4 His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness. Through these He has given us His very great and precious promises.... (New International Version)

Isaiah 30:18 Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you; He rises to show you compassion. For the LORD is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for Him. (New International Version)

Psalm 34:4: "I prayed to the LORD, and he answered me, freeing me from all my fears." (New International Version)

I just found this one and decided to add it--
Romans 16:20: "And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen."

Monday, May 1, 2017

God Is Our Hiding Place

This cardinal likes to hide in the leaves of my maple tree to scope out the feeders. I snapped this picture and was reminded of Psalm 32:7:  "You are a hiding place for me; you preserve me from trouble; you surround me with shouts of deliverance." (ESV) 

Psalm 119:114 states it this way: "You are my hiding place and my shield; I hope in your word."(ESV)

I praise and thank God that He is willing to be a hiding place. I learned this principle well during panic attacks. I would grab my cards full of Scriptures and start reading and praying them to God, and afterward I would feel a sense of peace and of His Presence. Through His Word and prayer, God became a hiding place for me.  Now almost every morning I wake up not with fear but with the desire to get alone with God. I want to be under His protective covering. Only He can keep me truly safe.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Relaxing with Cardinals

Sitting on my patio swing is one of the many ways I recharge and wind down. I try to escape out there for a little while every day. The sky, the trees and flowers, the birds, and the southern breeze all remind me of God and His tender care for His creation and for me--His new creation in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 2:10) I'm reminded also that God is in control, that He is good, and His work in my life is good. I can trust Him. Last week I saw this female cardinal on my feeder and grabbed my camera. I was thrilled when the male showed up a few seconds later.

"You are to bring into the ark two of all living creatures, male and female, to keep them alive with you." (Gen. 6:19) So glad cardinals made it in.  

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Cedar Waxwings Filmed from My Backyard

You can hear the cedar waxwings high-pitched singing in the background. Please ignore the loud squawk of a grackle. :)

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

God Knows

Came across this verse in my reading: Psalm 50:11 I know all the birds of the hills, and all that moves in the field is mine. (God talking) Fitting caption for my pictures below. God knows each one. He also knows each one of us. He cares and He is waiting for us to cry out to Him, thank Him, love Him, praise Him, acknowledge Him, lean on Him, expect Him.

Monday, April 3, 2017

From My Backyard

Sometimes you just gotta turn your back to the wind.