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.

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Save Saeed

Video of Naghmeh Abedini speaking about the imprisonment of her husband Saeed Abedini at the UN Human Rights Council.  Saeed Abedini is an American pastor who is imprisoned in Iran for his Christian faith.  Even at this difficult time, she gives a beautiful summary of the gospel.

She says Iran has kept Saeed imprisioned “because Saeed believes in forgiveness of sin through Jesus Christ and that whoever accepts this forgiveness of sin can be reconciled to the God of peace and love.  This is the God of peace we are all searching for.”

Please visit  http://savesaeed.org/ for more information or to sign the petition to free Pastor Saeed.

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)

“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)

Listening to the Book of Job

Today I was listening to the Bible online.  I haven’t listened to this version for a while, and wanted to share it with you and also to encourage you to listen today (August 21st) if you are going through a time of testing of your faith.

This is The One Year Audio Bible (New Living Translation) read by Tom Dooley.  To listen, you can click here:

http://www.oneyearaudiobible.org/

or click on the MP3 player widget over in the left hand column of the blog.

Listening today reminded me about the narrator, Tom Dooley.  The day after I became a Christian, I also started a brand new job.   As I was driving to work that day I first heard ‘The Journey,’ Tom Dooley’s radio program.  It was a wonderful way to be introduced to Christian music and get guidance as a new follower of Jesus.   Tom passed away almost two years ago, so hearing his voice is a reminder of 1) how short this life is, 2) how the work we do for God lives on even after we’re gone, and 3) how we have the hope of eternal life in heaven.

You can read a little about his ministry here.

http://www.mastermedia.org/mm/about.php

So, back to the Book of Job!   In the intro he mentions some helpful things to remember in times when our faith is tested.

  • Jesus is our ‘defending advocate in heaven’
  • Satan ‘cannot foresee the future as God can’
  • our faith in God and personal integrity provide hope and encouragement in suffering

I hope this provides encouragement to you today.

New Life

Photo of Butterfly on Crab Apple Tree Blossoms

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

2 Corinthians 5:17 (ESV)

Another Photo of Butterfly on Crab Apple Tree Blossoms

I was looking at these pictures and thought how the transformation of a caterpillar to a butterfly can be compared to receiving Jesus, the transformation that happens when we open our hearts and have faith in Him.  We are reborn, transformed, given new life.  Our old self dies and we have a new life in Christ.

I also like the way the New Living Translation puts it:

This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!

 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NLT)

Dear Lord, Thank you for my new life.  Thank you for transforming me, for taking away the power of sin and death on the cross.

To read more about the life cycle of a butterfly, check out this website: http://www.thebutterflysite.com/life-cycle.shtml

Living Water

Clear lake water with mountains in the background

10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” 11 The woman said to him, “Sir, you have nothing to draw water with, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob? He gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did his sons and his livestock.” 13 Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

John 4:10-14 (ESV)

Fountain at Grapevine Botanical Gardens, Grapevine, Texas

37 On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” 39 Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

John 7:37-39 (ESV)

“I Will Rise”

I’d been working on this post for a while, and then last week my cousin passed away after a brief battle with leukemia.  This song has a more special meaning to me now when I think of him and his family.  We are all taking comfort knowing he had a strong faith in Jesus and that he is in a better place now.   I’d like to dedicate it to him.

Chris Tomlin performing “I Will Rise” live in concert.

I hope you enjoy this beautiful song!

Some lyrics from the song:

There’s a peace I’ve come to know

Though my heart and flesh may fail

There’s an anchor for my soul

I can say, it is well

Jesus has overcome

And I will rise when He calls my name

No more sorrow, no more pain

There’s a day that’s drawing near

When this darkness breaks to light

And the shadows disappear

And my faith shall be my eyes

…for we walk by faith, not by sight.

2 Corinthians 5:7 (ESV)

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you.  Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.

John 14:27 (ESV)

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace.  In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.

John 16:33 (ESV)

Today I pray that you will rest in God’s peace, the peace that passes understanding, and that remembering “I will rise” gives you comfort.

Are you walking by faith?

…for we walk by faith, not by sight. 

2 Corinthians 5:7 (ESV)

Today I wanted to share the song “Walk By Faith” by Jeremy Camp.

He sings

Well I will walk by faith

Even when I cannot see

 Have you ever felt that way, that you’re walking along a rocky path, but you can’t see one foot ahead of you?  I’ll admit, actually, I’m feeling like that at times right now.  I’m trying to figure out what steps to take next, and honestly I don’t know what to do sometimes.  The path that I think I want doesn’t seem to be the path God’s leading me on.  But I have to remember that God knows me better than I know myself, and unlike me, He can see in the dark.   Most of all, since Jesus loves me enough to die on the cross for me, I need to trust Him.

God, thank-you for your guidance along this sometimes dark and scary path.  Please protect me from harm and guide my steps.  Thank-you for the gift of faith.

“Walk By Faith”