Sunday, September 27, 2020
Sunday, September 20, 2020
It's all about focus. Three of my readings this morning seemed to relate to 'focus'. Do you think God is trying to tell me something?? So you are getting all three (in the order I read them). You might want to read in installments :)
From Our Daily Bread devotional...
In Focus - read Acts 3:2-8, 16
Author Mark Twain suggested that whatever we look at in life - and how we see it - can influence our next steps, even our destiny. As Twain said, "You can't depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus."
Peter too spoke of vision when he replied to a lame beggar, a man whom he and John encountered at the busy temple gate called Beautiful (Acts 3:2). As the man asked them for money, Peter and John looked directly at the man. "Then Peter said, 'Look at us!'" (v4).
Why did he say that? As Christ's ambassador, Peter likely wanted the beggar to stop looking at his own limitations - yes, even to stop looking at his need for money. As he looked at the apostles, he would see the reality of having faith in God.
As Peter told him, "Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk" (v6). Then Peter "helped him up, and instantly the man's feet and ankles became strong. He jumped to his feet and began to walk" and give praise (vv7-8).
What happened? The man had faith in God (v16). As evangelist Charles Spurgeon urged, "Keep your eye simply on Him." When we do, we don't see obstacles. We see God, the One who makes our way clear.
- Patricia Raybon
What are you focused on instead of God? With refocused faith, what could you see in Him for your life?
Heavenly Father, when my eyes wander from You, focus my gaze on Your unlimited power.
From Hearing from God Each Morning devotional - Joyce Meyer
Spirit Led Persistence
What am I to do? I will pray with my spirit (by the Holy Spirit that is within me), but I will also pray (intelligently) with my mind and understanding (1 Corinthians 14:15)
I really want to encourage you to pray persistent, persevering prayers by the leading of the Holy Spirit - not mere repetitious prayers that do not come from your heart, but prayers that refuse to give up. It is possible to use your mouth to speak words of prayer that have no meaning behind them at all, and those prayers are nothing but dead works. I could quote the entire Lord's Prayer while I am thinking about something else, and that would not bless God or do me any good, but if I am sincere and pray from my heart, God hears and works in my behalf.
Lip service doesn't do anything for God or accomplish anything in our lives, so even when we pray about the same thing over and over again, we need to be careful not to fall into meaningless repetition. Instead, we need to allow the Holy Spirit to lead us in a fresh way, even when we are addressing a subject about which we have prayed for a long time. Sometimes He will lead us to be diligent and persistent about a matter, but there is a difference between repetition and Spirit-led persitence.
Words spoken in prayer that are not connected to our hearts are words without power. When we pray we should focus and concentrate on what we are saying. We should never merely verbalize things we have memorized while our hearts are far from God. The earnest (heartfelt, continued) prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available (see James 5:16).
Your heartfelt prayers to God have power and He hears them.
Prisoners of Hope
Return to your fortress, O prisoner of hope; come back to the place of safety - Zechariah 9:12
Paul was in prison but he was never a prisoner. It is not difficult situations that trap us, it is our reactions to them that form the prison bars. Psalm 107:10-11 and 13 talks about prisoners like that who are chained in the deepest gloom, 'for they had rebelled against the words of God... then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and He saved them from their distress. He brought them out of darkness...and broke away their chains' (v14). Our spirits can be imprisoned when we 'rebel' against God by shaking an angry fist at the circumstances He has allowed. Fortunately He is always ready to save us when we call to Him for help!
An Old Testament scholar such as Paul would have known Zechariah's phrase 'prisoners of hope' (9;12). Whenever I read it, I think of the day I went to tea with my friends Jo and Susie. Their cat had presented them with 5 kittens, which had rapidly turned into teenagers with attitude! In the centre of the sitting room stood a huge wire cage in which lived a family of gerbils. The kittens swarmed incessantly all over the cage, spitting, hissing and clawing savagely at the bars. Far from being traumatised, the gerbils took no notice at all, but happily went on eating, sleeping and playing chase. A prison holds you on all sides and contains you, so being a prisoner of hope means being surrounded and protected by our unshakeable trust in God's promises and goodness.
You hem me in - behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me... Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? (Psalm 139:5,7)
See what I mean? It's all about where our focus is :)
All the Spring flower photos were taken on my walks this past week
Song of Solomon 2:12
Friday, September 18, 2020
It's been a week of domestic pursuits...
I hadn't done any for over a year, because I didn't have a table low enough, or a chair high enough...
But the idea occurred to me (I'm a bit slow sometimes) to use my desk. The pull out part that I normally sit my lap top on. And it worked a treat! It does bounce around a bit if I sew too fast, and a bigger table would be better, but... It didn't cost me anything (just a bit of brain work)...
This was a long sleeved button front dress with a collar , but a bit over the top as a dress, and it was also a bit short (I prefer mid calf to ankle length). I really liked the fabric, so cut it off just under the armholes, removed the elastic in the waist, and sewed another waistband (bias binding and elastic) and viola...a dropped waist skirt!
It was an op shop find for a couple of dollars. And I've save the rest of the fabric for ? I might add a couple of pockets. I like pockets.
Still working on the granny squares (2 to go) and still reading (and enjoying) Old Houses, New Home...
not getting as much inside time now that Spring is here and there is much to do in the garden
A quote I read this week...
"There is a magic machine that sucks carbon out of the air. It costs very little and builds itself. It's called a tree."
this was taken down at the river about this time last year. It's one of my favourites :)
That's all folks!
Time to get back to work :)
Sunday, September 13, 2020
From Our Daily Bread devotional...
Friendly Fin - read Genesis 4:8-16
A marine biologist was swimming near the Cook Islands when a 50,000 pound humpback whale suddenly appeared and tucked her under its fin. The woman thought her life was over. But after swimming slowly in circles, the whale let her go. It's then that the biologist saw a tiger shark leaving the area. The woman believes the whale had been protecting her - keeping her from danger.
In a world of danger, we're called to watch out for others. But you might ask yourself, Should I really be expected to be responsible for someone else? Or in Cain's words: "Am I my brother's keeper?" (Genesis 4:9). The rest of the Old Testament resounds with the thunderous response: Yes! Just as Adam was to care for the garden, so Cain was to care for Abel, Israel was to keep watch over the vulnerable and care for the needy. Yet they did the opposite - exploiting the people, oppressing the poor, and abdicating the calling to love their neighbour as themselves. (Isaiah 3:14-15)
Yet, in the Cain and Abel story, God continued to watch over Cain, even after he was sent away (Genesis 4:15-16). God did for Cain what Cain should have done for Abel. It's a beautiful foreshadowing of what God in Jesus would come to do for us. Jesus keeps us in His care, and He empowers us to go and do like wise for others.
- Glenn Packiam
Who has God entrusted to your care? How have you embraced that responsibility? How have you tried to evade or avoid it?
Compassionate God, thank you for your care for me. You keep me and watch over me. Help me to do the same for others.
Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.
- Leo Buscaglia
Friday, September 11, 2020
Had a day out with Marnie earlier this week. Turners Beach and a quick beach fix...
Sunday, September 6, 2020
Friday, September 4, 2020
Which brought to mind a quote I read recently:
"That's a good plan, Uncle Billy. God asks us not to worry about tomorrow."
"That's a hard one, Preacher."
"It sure is. And it takes practice. Just stick with today, is what He recommends. Of course, it helps to stick with Him, while we're at it.”
― Jan Karon,