He Blesses

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Why is it that negative circumstances so often speak more loudly than positive ones? It’s as if they hoist megaphones to gleefully scream: TROUBLE! FAILURE! IMPOSSIBLE! LACK! RUIN! DISASTER! DEFEAT!

Their goal is to kill your hope, your faith, your expectations of good on this Earth we share, and thereby extinguish the life that could be yours.

On discouraging days, tune out the voices of cruel, mocking, arrogant circumstances — they are the words of an assassin — and refute deceptive rhetoric with truth:

God is a shepherd to the sheep. His ferocity is directed at marauding wolves, not his dependent charges.

To the vulnerable, he is gentle. He does not scream, he whispers. He does not accuse, he commends. He does not deprecate, he encourages. To the defenseless, he does not destroy, he builds. He does not take, he gives. He does not smother, he preserves. God does not kill, he creates. He does not defeat, he gives victory. He does not curse, he blesses.

Isaiah 44 

This is what the Lord says—
   
3  I will pour water on the thirsty land,
    and streams on the dry ground;
I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring,
    and my blessing on your descendants.
They will spring up like grass in a meadow,
    like poplar trees by flowing streams.

fall river and grass for blog, edited DSCN2035

24 “This is what the Lord says—
    your Redeemer, who formed you in the womb:

I am the Lord,
    the Maker of all things,
    who stretches out the heavens,
    who spreads out the earth by myself,

… who says of Jerusalem, ‘It shall be inhabited,’
    of the towns of Judah, ‘They shall be rebuilt,’
    and of their ruins, ‘I will restore them,’

… he will say of Jerusalem, “Let it be rebuilt,”
    and of the temple, “Let its foundations be laid.”’

fall with stones for blog, edited DSCN2020

Those Who Wait

In the words of Dr. Eugene May:

I must admit that I don’t like “WAITING.” But, I have learned that good things do come to those who are willing to “WAIT” upon the Lord. The Word says, “Show me Your ways, O LORD; teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; on You I WAIT all the day.”

Isaiah said, “Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall, but those who WAIT on the LORD shall renew their strength.” He was saying to us that the best and the strongest may be overcome but if we are willing to “WAIT” for God to move we will see the victory of God.

In Ecclesiastes, Solomon said, “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven.” This was a difficult lesson for me to learn but I have seen it to be true. When I have “WAITED” patiently for God to move in the situations of life, He has moved.

Child of God, patience is something that doesn’t come instantly. There is only one way for you to gain patience and that is to learn to “WAIT” upon the Lord. He is never too late. He will move in His time and He will bring forth the effect that He desired in your life. Don’t give up! Look up and see the victory of God.

“Rest in the LORD, and WAIT patiently for Him; do not fret because of him who prospers in his way…I have been young, and now am old; yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his descendants begging bread.”


Permission was previously obtained by Eugene May to share his writings on this blog. Thank you, Dr. May!


References:

Psalm 25:4-5 (KJV)

Shew me thy ways, O Lord; teach me thy paths.

Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day.

Isaiah 40:31 (KJV)

31 But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

Ecclesiastes 3 (NIV)

There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens:

    a time to be born and a time to die,
    a time to plant and a time to uproot,
    a time to kill and a time to heal,
    a time to tear down and a time to build,
    a time to weep and a time to laugh,
    a time to mourn and a time to dance,
    a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
    a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
    a time to search and a time to give up,
    a time to keep and a time to throw away,
    a time to tear and a time to mend,
    a time to be silent and a time to speak,
    a time to love and a time to hate,
    a time for war and a time for peace.

Psalm 37 (NIV)

Do not fret because of those who are evil
    or be envious of those who do wrong;
for like the grass they will soon wither,
    like green plants they will soon die away.

Trust in the Lord and do good;
    dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
Take delight in the Lord,
    and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Commit your way to the Lord;
    trust in him and he will do this:
He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn,
    your vindication like the noonday sun.

Be still before the Lord
    and wait patiently for him;  

  ….

25 I was young and now I am old,
    yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken
    or their children begging bread.

Bounty

bean harvest edited by Neal for blog

Psalm 65

1 Praise awaits you, O God, in Zion; to you our vows will be fulfilled. 2 O you who hear prayer, to you all men will come. 3 When we were overwhelmed by sins, you forgave our transgressions. Blessed are those you choose and bring near to live in your courts! We are filled with the good things of your house, of your holy temple. 5 You answer us with awesome deeds of righteousness, O God our Savior, the hope of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest seas,

corn tasseled for blog edited by Neal

who formed the mountains by your power, having armed yourself with strength, 7 who stilled the roaring of the seas, the roaring of their waves, and the turmoil of the nations. 8 Those living far away fear your wonders; where morning dawns and evening fades you call forth songs of joy. You care for the land and water it; you enrich it abundantly.

corn furrows for blog edited by Neal

The streams of God are filled with water to provide the people with grain, for so you have ordained it. 10 You drench its furrows and level its ridges; you soften it with showers and bless its crops.

11 You crown the year with your bounty,

corn combine edited by Neal for blog

and your carts overflow with abundance.

corn into cart, edited, Doug's farm in background

12 The grasslands of the desert overflow; the hills are clothed with gladness. 13 The meadows are covered with flocks and the valleys are mantled with grain; they shout for joy and sing. 

corn fields and clouds final edit by Neal for blog


With gratitude to Neal Nelson for the use of his photos, and for a seat next to him during annual rides in the combine.

 

See How They Shine

“Bridge Over Troubled Water”

When you’re weary, feelin’ small
When tears are in your eyes, I will dry them all
I’m on your side, oh, when times get rough
and friends just can’t be found
*
Like a bridge over troubled water, I will lay me down
Like a bridge over troubled water, I will lay me down
*
When you’re down and out, when you’re on the street
When evening falls so hard, I will comfort you
I’ll take your part, when darkness comes
and pain is all around
 *
Like a bridge over troubled water, I will lay me down
Like a bridge over troubled water, I will lay me down
*
Sail on silver girl, sail on by
Your time has come to shine, all your dreams are on their way
See how they shine, oh, if you need a friend
I’m sailing right behind
*
Like a bridge over troubled water, I will ease your mind
Like a bridge over troubled water, I will ease your mind
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Johnny Cash and Fiona Apple, cover of “Bridge Over Troubled Water” by Paul Simon 
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Psalm 50:15: 

“… call on me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you … “

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

*

Though my dreams were burned away

Rebuffed by earth’s cruel face

Enduring God will resurrect

Gold purpose in its place

*

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

*

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