"Be still and know that I am God." God ~ Psalm 46:10

Monday, February 28, 2011

God Takes Hold

My daughter (12) must give a presentation at school tomorrow and is worried about getting up in front of her class and speaking. I understand the common fear, and I've been trying to give her some words of advice and encouragement. To which she has no intention of listening.

It worked when she was younger and had a piano recital that she was quite nervous about. At that time, I'd shared with her two bible verse that I always keep close by:
For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.  Isaiah 41:13
I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.  Philippians 4:13
I told her to imagine God holding her right hand and walking her to the piano bench, and then sitting right there with her as she played her recital piece. I told her that God would help her through it. She said, "Okay, Mommy." (Not the response I got this morning.)

I love these two verses, and they have given me courage and confidence many times as I make my way through this life. I've said to God: you promised to help me through and I'm depending on your word. I've visualized God holding my right hand and think of the power in that gesture. (In the Old Testament, the left hand wasn't all that useful so they always referred to the "good" hand, the right hand. Which is a little disconcerting because I'm left-handed. Anyway...)

I so want to help my daughter be more confident with her presentation tomorrow, but she's at an age where she doesn't believe everything I tell her anymore. I guess she doesn't want to hear, If God be for us, who can be against us? Romans 8:31 right now either. Do you think?

You know how it is with mothers and daughters, and I'm sure that this is just one of those things. If someone else, say her confirmation guide, would share these verses with her, she'd have a nice chat about it and decide to hold onto those thoughts. But, as I see it, my best option is to hand her fears over to God, and ask him to talk to her. That, and help her practice the presentation tonight. If she'll allow me. Probably not.

But if you are ever feeling fearful or anxious, go to your bible and read these verse, believe in them, memorize them, and just see if you don't imagine God giving your right hand a good, confident squeeze.

May God bless your day!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Our Creative God

God's creative spirit is all around us, although we often might take it for granted, or not consider it at all. And really, if we spend time pondering the magnitude of his creative expression, it's difficult to grasp! Thankfully, God does not require us to grasp it, only to thank him for the beauty of our earth, as well as for the way all the elements work together~the sky, earth, moon, sun, mountains, streams, seas, tree, flowers, animals...we could go on and on. It's incredible to think about, isn't it?

Creation is beyond our understanding, so maybe we should just take a fresh look at our surroundings and marvel in the earth's beauty, the sky's mysteries, creatures big and small, every child born, the person next to us, the rivers that flow, the leaves that fall on time, the puppy asleep at my foot, and for the creativity, talents, or wisdom he has gifted us with.

Read Psalm 104 for an eloquent, powerful, reminder of God's creativity and care for this world. The author is anonymous, but he/she is clearly in awe of God and is heartfully praising him for all that he's done.

I'd personally like to thank him for not leaving any of it up to me. (You may share this thought as well.)

May God bless your day!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

When the Holy Spirit Speaks

Hey everyone,
I've often felt confused about what I'm supposed to be doing vs. what I am doing. Ever felt that way?

The confusion stemmed from not trusting God to do the guiding that I've asked him to do. It's as if my asking fell into a deep hole or on "deaf ears". But the empty hole and deaf ears were mine, not God's. He is listening.
As it says in Psalm 4:3 ~ the Lord has set apart the godly for himself, the Lord will hear when I call him."
God uses people to answer our prayers, but he also uses the Holy Spirit to guide our hearts and minds. The Holy Spirit does not speak to us on his own, but relays only what he hears from God (see John 16:13). He guides us in our knowledge of Christ and directs our steps in the purpose of our lives.

I'm coming to find that this is not meant to be difficult, and we needn't worry about it. If our minds are open to God's guidance, we will be guided in all ways. Don't worry about thoughts or ambitions, they are put there for a reason. Constantly walk in God's light, and see what happens with the desires of your heart.

This isn't meant to say that if we ask God for guidance in becoming rich and famous, he's going to automatically answer that request. :-) But he will guide your steps, place the right thoughts and people in your life, to get where you need to go as his child. And as his child, he wants to protect you from harm and keep you from going astray in your walk with him. He's got your back, and your best interest at heart.

I will leave you with a verse that has a lot of power; it lets us know that God is listening. We need not worry over our decisions because God has a plan for you; what you are doing right now, if you are including God in your plan, is where you are supposed to be.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declared the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."  Jeremiah 29: 11-13
May God richly bless your day!

Monday, February 21, 2011

New Blog ~ Fruit on the Branch

Hello everyone,
I've been thinking about writing this blog for some time ~ that is to say that I'm sure God put it in my heart to use my gift of writing for Him, and I'm finally doing it!

I've read the bible (beginning to end took me about 1.5 years) and I've been studying and learning the word for quite some time. And now I want to share it with you!

The reasons for doing this are many, but the main reason stems from what is probably my favorite verse in the bible:
You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit ~ fruit that will last.  John 15:16 
In the first part of the verse, I love that God chose me to be "his". I'd never felt completely "chosen" before and the thought of it, of someone wanting me, loving me, exactly as I am, is the coolest thing ever! I know that my words sound rather childlike in my description of how I feel, but it seems that my relationship with God has finally become one where I recognize him as my father. That was a long time coming and we will discuss that in another post.

It took me a long while to recognize the second part of the verse, being the self-centered child of God that we can be, but in my maturing, it smacked me in the head like a wet tomato. He wants me to bear fruit!  That requires doing something. It requires being in service to God, which could mean a lot of different things: using our gifts, telling others about Jesus, helping others, reaching out to the orphans and widows, etc. Doing any of those things in the name of Jesus bears fruit on the tree of life.

So, I hope with the good grace of God to do just that. Thus, the title of this blog is "Fruit on the Branch". And I want to hear from you: your thoughts, questions, concerns, the fruits you are you bearing.

Let's connect today; I'm looking forward to hearing from you! May God bless your day!