Weekly Photo Challenge: Let There Be Light!

Candle light in the dark

The people who walked in darkness

have seen a great light;

Isaiah 9:2 (ESV)

Light is kind of the theme of my blog, so this is a great challenge for me!

As a follower of Christ, Jesus is the light of my life.  He is the source of light that breaks through the darkness of the world.  The words below from Jesus tell how we, as Christians, should act to demonstrate this light to others.

14You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

Matthew 5:14-16 (ESV)

but God…

As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive.

Genesis 50:20 NASB

This is Joseph in Egypt talking to his brothers after their father died.  His brothers were afraid Joseph would try to get revenge on them for selling him into slavery many years before. You can read the story of Joseph beginning in Genesis 37 and continuing in chapter 39 to the end in chapter 50.

This is one of my favorite Bible stories because it has given me hope that God can take difficult circumstances and turn them around and use them for good!

Lift up your eyes

Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens:

Who created all these?

He who brings out the starry host one by one

and calls forth each of them by name.

Because of his great power and mighty strength,

not one of them is missing.

Isaiah 40:26 NIV

Drawing of night sky

I came across this Bible verse recently, and it made me think of the song Your Love Oh Lord by Third Day.  Something about hearing that song gives me peace.  You can listen to the song here:

Some of the lyrics, from Psalm 36:

And I will lift my voice to worship you my king

And I will find my strength in the shadow of your wings

Your Love Oh Lord reaches to the heavens

Your faithfulness stretches to the skies

May you find strength in the shadow of His wings today, and above all the peace that only He can give.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Color

Cross with flowers

The Lord is near to all who call on him, 

to all who call on him in truth. 

Psalm 145:18 ESV

I haven’t posted in quite a while! Hope all is well with you.  I took a picture of this cross I sent to a friend as a gift, and when I saw the topic of the Photo Challenge this week was color, this idea for a post came to mind.

It’s a reminder that no matter how alone we seem, God is always near to those who seek Him.

He is…

"I am the Light of the World"

All of us must quickly carry out the tasks assigned us by the one who sent me, because there is little time left before the night falls and all work comes to an end.  But while I am still here in the world, I am the light of the world.”

John 9:4-5 (NLT)

“I’ll Fly Away”

Photo looking out over hills

but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.

Isaiah 40:31 (ESV)

Well it has been a while since I have been able to blog.  I missed it!  I’ve been unable to, partly for fun reasons and partly for sad reasons.  I’ve been travelling and haven’t had much time or internet access.  First, I was travelling in Maui, which was wonderful.  So please don’t feel too sorry for me :-)  I promise I’m not stalking you, Canadian Hiking Photography!  We had planned our trip before you went!

Then while in Maui we got some sad news that my grandma passed away.  She had not been doing well the past couple of years, so in a way it’s a blessing.  I believe she’s in a better place now.   She also lived to be 93 so that was a blessing.

I had been meaning to post this photo before, and now it has a little more special meaning.  My grandma had had a lot of pain due to broken bones for quite some time.  I was talking to my mom before the funeral, and she mentioned she thought of this song for her.  Now she is free!

So, please listen to “I’ll Fly Away”.  I hope it gives you hope about our future life in heaven, where there is no more suffering.

“I’ll Fly Away” performed by Dave’s Highway

I’ll Fly Away

“He remains faithful”

It is a trustworthy statement: For if we died with Him, we will also live with Him; If we endure, we will also reign with Him; If we deny Him, He also will deny us; If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.

2 Timothy 2:11-13 (NASB)

Daily Prompt: Connect the Dots

Daily Prompt: Connect the Dots

Open your nearest book to page 82. Take the third full sentence on the page, and work it into a post somehow.

I liked the randomness of this writing prompt, so I thought why not give it a try!  So I looked around, and the book closest to me was The Bedford Handbook, a writing and grammar reference.  And then I thought, ‘Oh no, that’s boring!  I have lots of other interesting books around, like cookbooks, a guidebook on Maui, a little Christian devotional book, etc.  Does it really have to be the closest book?’

I decided to give it a try.  Well, I should have known, God’s plan is better than anything I could come up with.  So on page 82 there is a section explaining the difference between comparison and contrast.  The third sentence says, “To contrast is to focus only on differences.”

Then, I immediately knew what I wanted to write!  Since this blog is mainly a Christian devotional, I’ll apply it to the Christian church for this post.

Sometimes it seems we, as Christians, focus so much on our differences, like differences in doctrine, different denominations, stands on certain issues, etc. that we forget what we have in common.  As followers of Jesus Christ, the main thing is that He died and rose again for us.  We belong to Him.  Each one of us was bought with a price, the price of Jesus’ blood. We may have differences of opinion, and I’m not at all saying that we shouldn’t stand up for what we believe.  In fact, we must stand up for what we believe when what’s being questioned is the center of our faith, our belief in Jesus.  But sometimes we need to realize other Christians have other perspectives, and when the issues are not central to our faith, remember what’s really important.

One reason we need to be unified is our witness to the world, to reflect God’s love through our lives.  Jesus himself prayed for our unity on the night before he was crucified.  I can’t think of a better reason than that.

And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth. “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.

John 17:19-23 (ESV) (underlining my own)

In 1 Corinthians, Paul writes,

I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment.

1 Corinthians 1:10 (ESV)

The Bedford Handbook, 6th Edition, Diana Hacker, 2002, Bedford/St. Martin’s