Crown of Beauty

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Isaiah 61:3

The Lord will:

provide for you who grieve—
to bestow on you a crown of beauty
    instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
    instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
    instead of a spirit of despair.
You will be called oaks of righteousness,
    a planting of the Lord
    for the display of his splendor.

DSCN2014 for blog

This Little Light of Mine

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Reading and singing by Odetta Holmes (1930 – 2008). Odetta was an American singer, actress, guitarist, songwriter, and a civil and human rights activist, often referred to as “The Voice of the Civil Rights Movement”.
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Matthew 5:14-16:
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“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
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child singing This Little Light of Mine
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Harvest

Reap photo for blog

Tender buds at the break of spring

An equal chance to live

One denied and the other grows

The balance starts to tip

Still believed in nature’s law

Reaping what you sow

Betrayed by theft of summer’s crop

By snakes that did no work

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Though my dreams were burned away

Rebuffed by earth’s cruel face

Enduring God will resurrect

Gold purpose in its place

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Like fallen leaves on November soil

My soul pressed into cold

Decomposing hopes to have

The least of life I owned

Stalked by winter’s accusing winds

It’s goal to force-feed lies

Clenched my jaw, refused to yield

My right to truth and life

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Tender buds at the break of spring

Another chance to live

Hate denied and mercy grows

The balance starts to tip

Love born out of suffering

Fortitude from pain

Intent on reaping righteousness

Each day that remains

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Though my dreams were burned away

Rebuffed by earth’s cruel face

Redeeming God did resurrect

Gold purpose in its place

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cornfield edited for blog Reap by Cindi Gale

I’ll See It When I Believe It

We’re used to having the logical, evidence-based mindset, “I’ll believe it when I see it”.

But God’s ways are different than ours. Spend enough time with him, and our thinking changes to:

“I’ll see it when I believe it.”

mountain reflection edited for blog (1)

It has to do with being made in the image of God. He is a creator; we’re meant to be, too. He creates with his words.

Isaiah 55:11 – “… so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”

He wants us to do the same — believe, speak accordingly, and thereby create righteousness in our immediate worlds.

“So I can say anything I want, and it will happen?”

No. Probably not. Not anything you want.

Consider Jesus’s explanation in John 5:19 – “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.”

Jesus didn’t go it alone. He said and did only what he saw God say and do. He urges us to do the same. But how do we know what God wants, given our finite minds?

Jesus explained God’s remedy for our impossible dilemma in John 14:26 – “But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”

fog-photo-lighthouse edited11.jpg, for blog

God has provided his Holy Spirit to come alongside us in our daily lives. He sees what the Father is doing. If we ask, expect and wait for his response, he will show us God’s will for our ever-evolving circumstances. He will coach, guide, teach, warn, comfort, encourage, and help us in the minutest details of our lives. With his aid, we can overcome evil with good. Accept his views and a powerful yet seemingly illogical, creative, faith-based (in place of evidence-based) mindset develops:

“I’ll see it when I believe it.” 

John 20:29 – Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

Mark 11:23 – “Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them.

mountain reflection for blog, edited final Scotland

 

A Time for Everything

Ecclesiastes 3 – New International Version (NIV)

A Time for Everything

1 There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.

9 What do workers gain from their toil? 10 I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. 12 I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. 13 That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God. 14 I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that people will fear him.

Stay In The Pocket

pearl for blog

What do you do with the thoughts or abilities that make you, YOU? I’m speaking of those things that are meant to be expressed— they’re intended for someone to receive them. They are your gifts, yours to give as you determine.

Is there music inside you that others want to hear? Can you produce art that people hope to see, or teach what learners are seeking? Is there love within you that someone longs for? Do you have the words that others need to hear, or the gestures for a life to be encouraged?

Those intangible, unquantifiable gifts within you are powerful. They change lives. Expressed when the time is right, they are the rudder that alters another vessel’s course.

Express them when the time is wrong, and a shipwreck can result.

Maybe that has happened to you, a shipwreck when you expressed a precious pearl of who you are. So back into hiding that gift of yours went, the gift that was meant to be given.

Maybe it was the only thing you could do. After all, it wasn’t something insignificant that you put out there—it was a piece of YOU that was annihilated. You thought it was better to disown it than to recognize its existence. You considered it the cause of your wrecked ship, your deepest wounds. Banished to a tightly-sealed cell deep within, you found a way to function without it. Because you had to. You had to move on. Life was calling.

But … you were wrong about something.

It wasn’t the gift in you that caused the shipwreck, it was the timing of its expression. The conditions weren’t right before. Your gift wasn’t ready. It wasn’t yet strong enough to hold its form. Your gift was wrongly received and undervalued. You were plundered. You were strip-mined.

But know this … your gift wasn’t wrong. Your gift was always very, very right.

You’ll understand that, when the day comes again that your gift is required by someone, needed by someone, drawn out by someone. You’ll know then that your gift is of great value.

Your gift is powerful to the right person. It is the rudder to alter the course of their life.

When you allow your banished gift out of its cell and express it again, this time you’ll stay in the pocket—you’ll determine what you want to do with it, who you want to give it to, and who you need to hide it from. You’ll know who can be trusted, and who cannot.

You’ll take the risk to give again when a rightful recipient treasures and respects it. They will consider the cherished gift yours alone to give, and keep private what is meant to be private.

If you’re harboring a gift that is intended for public receipt, you’ll know when you’re ready to share it. When the time is right, you’ll have the strength, courage, and self-respect to withstand society’s pressures.

When the time is right, supporters will emerge from thin air to uphold your gift and help you stand firm in it.

When the time is right, you will be capable of staying in the pocket — maintaining management of your thoughts, your talents, your abilities, your heart. After all, these are YOUR gifts. You’ll know then that your gifts are of great worth, and always were.

When the time is right, let your gifts be the rudder to beneficially alter someone’s life course.

 

 

Roots

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cindigale:

I don’t know why it is that this post is being viewed frequently in Europe and the Middle East in the past 2 weeks. But because it is, with a nod to those readers, I am reblogging it.

Originally posted on Cindi Gale:

I walk almost every day. It’s a habit, a need even, a bi-product of many decades of daily runs. Linear bipedal locomotion is my time for thinking. Deep thinking. For whatever reason, my focus can be so intense that it’s hard to pull out of it. One of my sons long ago took note and conceived a diagnosis for my condition: EAD. Excessive Attention Disorder.

There’s no better place to let my EAD go full-blown than on a track. No distractions. No cars. No routes to be mindful of.

This summer they are bringing the old 1950’s cinder track into the twenty-first century. When it’s done, I won’t be surprised if while I’m in full-blown EAD, the springy all-weather surface converts my walking to running. Wearing running tights instead of jeans did that to me one spring day. Lost in thought, I ran a half mile before I realized I…

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