Keep On

Have you ever felt like you just didn’t have anything left?  I was feeling like this lately when I heard this song.  It spoke to me in so many different ways!  I realized I’d been putting other things ahead of time with God and what he might be teaching me.  I was also just worn out from some daily struggles and feeling depressed.  This song encouraged me and reminded me to give my worries and sadness to God.  In our own strength, we’re not able.  But Got is able.  I hope in difficult times you remember to draw near to Him.  You are not alone.

I’ll Keep On by NF featuring Jeremiah Carlson

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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)

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.

Beautiful video about adoption

Someone just shared this “I Like Adoption” YouTube  video with me.  Sitting at my computer crying while watching it, I realized I wanted to share it, too.  Hope you find it encouraging today.  Even if adoption doesn’t apply to your life right now, it’s a beautiful demonstration of unconditional love.

Thanks for watching.

 

“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

Weekly Photo Challenge: Renewal

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 5:17-19 (ESV)

Seeing the topic for this week’s photo challenge immediately made me think of a previous post called “New Life”.   The picture and scripture above was from the previous post. If you’re interested, you can read it here.

These photos were taken in March a couple of years ago, and we just happened to visit the Japanese Garden when the Crab Apple trees were in bloom.  Spring can be a beautiful time of renewal.  The tree blossoms and butterfly remind me of the renewal that comes with the change in seasons, but also the renewal we experience with our new life in Christ.   Sometimes we find unexpected beauty in that new life!

Photo of yellow butterfly on tree branch

…and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.

Colossians 3:10 (ESV)

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

1 Peter 1:3-5 (ESV)

Photo of sun shining through the trees

And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.

1 John 3:3 (ESV)

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.

Psalm 51:10  (ESV)

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.

“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.

Hope

I haven’t posted in awhile!  I’ve actually been busy, which is good, mostly.  It’s a blessing to be busy, to have things you want to do and be able to do them.

Today I want to share the song “There Will Be A Day” by Jeremy Camp.  This is an answer to my previous post about tears.  It describes the hope we have, even during times of suffering, perhaps especially important when we’re suffering, of the life to come through Jesus.

This is actually a devotional video of Jeremy Camp speaking about his song.

 

One of the verses he mentions in the video is Romans 8:18.  I recommend reading the passage Romans 8:15-23 for context.

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.

Romans 8:18 (ESV)

Dear Lord, Please fill us with the hope you give us for the future.  Please help us to trust you, during good times and bad, and to keep in sight the life to come.  Give us your peace.

Tears

You keep track of all my sorrows.
You have collected all my tears in your bottle.
You have recorded each one in your book.

Psalm 56:8 (NLT)

and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death;  there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.”

Revelation 21:4 NASB