God is up to nothing but good

 

 

God is always, ALWAYS up to something good for us. Even when this life, this broken world, other people, or our own choices bring us difficulty, disappointment or pain…He’s ALWAYS got a plan that will bring the good and make things whole – when we believe it and receive it.

That may not always look like I think it will or even how I think it should. But He does work everything to my good. Even when “everything” isn’t good…He will turn the end result in my favor. Bring good. 

Whether it looks a little bleak or a whole lot of awful, think something like this, “Well, this is going to be interesting. Whatever He is working out to make His goodness and my belonging to Him obvious has got to be pretty wild. But, I WILL see it. That’s just Who He is. That’s just who I am to Him. He said so.” (Romans 8:28 and other scriptures)

God is good & He adores us.

God’s heart towards us is loving

 

 

Want real peace? Begin to meditate on the immense, endless, measureless love of God. Specifically for you. For me. For your best, most loved friend. For the person who has hurt you most of all. For us all. Never failing love. No matter what.

He’s not holding one thing against any of us. Not one thing. Doesn’t matter how broken. Doesn’t matter how bad. Doesn’t matter how unforgivable in the minds and hearts of others. Doesn’t matter if it is hard to forgive ourselves. (See Hebrews 8:12, Hebrews 10:17, Isaiah 43:25)

God’s heart towards us is loving, good, kind, merciful, to bless, to heal, to give.

God is good & He adores us. He really, really does.

Never stop dreaming…

Don’t let anyone or anything steal your dreams. No matter what.

Sin is dirty business…

 

“You never know how good it feels to be really clean until you’ve been really dirty.”

This was said to me about taking a shower after doing some pretty dirty work. Hot, dirty, unpleasant work. It immediately struck me in my spirit.

Sin. The filth. The degradation, decay, and stench of it. I’ve been there. You, too.

In John 7, a woman of less-than-sterling reputation is lavishing love and gratitude on Jesus while He visits Simon (not Simon Peter), the Pharisee. Simon is disgusted that Jesus would be so kind to her given her reputation and past.

John 7:47 (NLT)
“I tell you, her sins—and they are many—have been forgiven, so she has shown Me much love. But a person who is forgiven little shows only little love.”
 
What I love about this whole passage is that Jesus isn’t saying that her sins were worse or bigger or more numerous than those of the Pharisee He was addressing. He was confronting the Simon’s perception that her sins and mistakes made her unworthy while Simon had no sense of his own issues. He thought that he needed little to no forgiveness. So often, we look at what others have done and think of ourselves as having needed less forgiveness. Or, having needed more forgiveness. The reality is that whether we have a Pharisee’s perception of ourselves as pretty clean or this dear woman’s awareness that our sins were many; we have all needed the finished work of the cross. Forgiveness and redemption. All sin is sin. We’re the ones who’ve categorized it into what is and isn’t as dirty. It’s all the same to God. It all required the cross.

The awareness of forgiveness. Not necessarily for things done naked or with a weapon. Murder. Adultery. Those, too. But equally for things that happen in our hearts, minds, and with our words. His forgiveness eradicates our wrongs. No matter what we’ve done. Gone.

The correlation between our awareness of His grace to our ability to love is clear.

1 John 4:19 (NLT)
We love each other because He loved us first.

Struggling with being judgey (judgmental), harsh, or critical? Struggling with what it really means to love the Lord? Especially with all of our hearts, souls, minds and strength (Easy to quote. Hard to understand. Impossible to do on our own.)? Struggling to be good to people who aren’t being good to you? Struggling with a spirit of competition or superiority? How about condemnation and shame?

Take it back to the most basic place. Focus on His love for us. His grace. His favor. His goodness. The absolute, unconditional love of the Father. The sacrificial love of Jesus. Redemption. Newness. Blessings. For us. For you. For me. The goodness and mercy of the Father.

We’ve all been forgiven much. When we revel in that grace…that love…that mercy…that goodness…we will love richly and freely and generously. We will live more consistently in the understanding and expression of the righteousness that He gave us as a gift. We will love much.

It is like living fresh out of the spiritual shower we all needed so desperately and Jesus so lovingly provided…

God is good. And, He adores us.

Be led…

Choosing not to fear…

Don't let your hearts be troubled

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“I am leaving you with a gift–peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” –Jesus (John 14:27)

I don’t have to be troubled or afraid. I can live in peace and with peace. My choice. He’s already done it. Given it.

Today, I choose to receive His gift of peace of mind and heart. I choose to trust in God and the finished work of Jesus. I choose NOT to be troubled or afraid.

God is good & He adores you!

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You’re in good hands…

Isaiah 41 10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The victorious hand of our Father. The Creator. He says He is with us. He says He will strengthen us and help us. He is our God and He will hold us up. We have His Word on it. This morning in my quiet time, I saw myself climbing into and settling in His hand. I saw Him lifting me. It reminded me of 1 Peter 5:6 – that humbling myself under His mighty hand insures that He will lift me up and bring me out in high places (above the issues) at the right time. In the meantime, He is with me and I couldn’t be in a better place.

God is good & He adores you. Put yourself in His hands…

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His peace…

my peace Jesus quote

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

His Peace. Available in no other way and from no other source. Peace of mind and heart.

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Real Peace. A gift. Already given.

What is one of the ways to access and receive that Peace? By choosing not to be troubled. Not to be afraid.

How?

When I begin to feel troubled, I pause. I stop. I remember this gift of His Peace. In my heart, I whisper my gratitude for His perfect Peace. I begin to thank Him that He already knows what is trying to steal my peace. He has already provided whatever I need and will bring it into this situation. That He alone is my Source. I speak His Word. Sometimes on peace. Sometimes scriptures that pertain to whatever my circumstances are. Scriptures about not being afraid and why I don’t have to be afraid – about protection, about healing, about grace…

Scriptures about how very loved we are. The perfect love of Jesus. Of the Father.

The Word. His love. His presence. His goodness.

Because God is good & He adores us…and we’re going to make it.

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Got weakness??? Looking for a power source??

Strength and power Isaiah 40

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sometimes, I act like I’ve never heard or understood that God always was, is, and always will be GOD. That He is the Creator of all the earth. His God-ness never lessens or weakens or isn’t enough. That He and all He is – and all that He knows fully – cannot be measured. He is everlasting, infinitely strong, endlessly knowing and understanding – and He is incomprehensibly generous in making all of Who He is a gift to us.

Feeling powerless? Weak? Don’t give up. Don’t worry. He gives HIS power to the weak and HIS strength to the powerless.

He’s got us covered. God is good & He adores us!!!

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And it was very good…

Creator

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m by no means a professional photographer; but, I am pretty passionate about taking pictures. It’s deepening my wonder and awe at the extraordinary detail and beauty in all of God’s creation.

Stunning. Truly. As in, I am stunned.

Someone we know and love dearly and deeply is a gifted photographer. He’s won awards and has been an art photographer for over 40 years. He made a decision in his 20’s that it was what he would do. No safety net. So, his love and livelihood are the same. His photography. He’s not just a photographer. He’s an artist with a gift and an eye for beauty that could only come from God.

He and his wife (and their very special dog) are in our hearts in a way that defies the short time we’ve known them. Just a few months.We love him. Deeply. We enjoy him. Immensely. He’s brilliant and talented and wonderful. 

Yet, somehow, he looks through that lens and sees overwhelming beauty and doesn’t seem to realize that it isn’t accidental and didn’t just happen through a sequence of scientific events. Really, my beloved friend? REALLY? You take amazing pictures of mountains and lakes and flowers and animals and skylines and architecture and miss the hand of God in it all? In sunsets and sunrises and trees and birds? In clouds and stars and lightening and rain?

I send our friend a picture I’ve taken every day. I occasionally show him the scriptures I put on them for posting online. He critiques my “work” and we have an opportunity to discuss what I see when the pictures are taken. I can sense the softening of his view of all of my “faith crap.”

It’s amazing how God is revealed in the work of His hands. See it. Share it. Show it.

God is good & He adores you. He adores our friend, too. And that makes me smile.