I found my first “Pieces Journal,” dated January 22, 2014. It seems so long ago, but it also shows me the walk I’ve taken along Jesus; is just a moment a time, and my faith has continued to grow; year after year. I’d like to share with you some of the earlier “scraps of paper, devotions and musings” from my journal. May you find your own special “pieces.”
It’s in the act of faith that courage becomes reality and the Lord’s grace rushes in to supply divine power.
Dear God, I want to be gracious and lovely in Your sight. Open to receiving. Take me away from the things that waste my time and rob me of meditative time with You.
I am encouraged by the mighty works of God. “Prayer” has become a powerful word in my vocabulary, and one that gives meaning to my life. I pray for HOPE, what a beautiful gift; and, it is free!!! He walks with me in the garden of my life. We talk, I learn, I am blessed to know Him as my Father, and Friend.
Keep your defense strong, trust in God. Pray when anxiety seeps in.
Take it to God. When you are low or upset, even when it feels contrary to do so; tell Him, share your heart.
I see so many parallels in my past and current life; except now I am grateful for all of it – the hard, hurtful times along with the peaceful. I believe it’s more than ‘equal parts,’ rather how Jesus wants to live in me; “Grateful for all of the pieces.” In this way, everything is a subject for witnessing.
Impossible situations are opportunities for the Lord to teach us valuable lessons that we’d never learn any other way.
In the endless battle to control paper in my home office, I came across this incredibly raw and honest “piece” (scrap) that fits right in with the spiritual path I am on at different times in my life.
The bigger circle was fighting me. I gave in and pushed at the edges realizing this is what I do to get God to see my way.
I was working on a clay project from retreat last Fall. It was a beginners class, the clay dried my skin out which in turn, took an act of congress to make me forget so I could forge ahead with what the clay might reveal to me. Reveal it did. Wow.
I still would rather do just about anything than work with clay (!!!) but it taught me about substance, what I want to learn on this journey called life.
I have struggled personally with the act of forgiveness. Some resentment harbored over 30 years of my life. Imagine. Withholding forgiveness to another human being when Jesus forgives ME every day, sometimes many times a day. I am not without sin. How did it ever become my place to judge the actions of another?
It is not.
What does the bible say about forgiveness?
Wow, the bible says a lot, doesn’t it? 🙂
Matthew 5:6-10 spoke to me in my morning bible study. It is half of the Beatitudes (the beginning focus on humility, mourners and the meek and lowly). It continues on to “those who are happy.”
The entire book of Matthew seems to be a guide — how to live a life that is pleasing to God, and how to be a light in dark places for others to find Christ. We are often the only positive example of Christianity a non-believer might see.
I, myself have overreacted in various life situations, I have hurt others with my words and I have been hurt by the words and actions of others. We are human, we are not perfect and imagining a life that is; sets us up for failure. I see each day as a new start, a new beginning, a new opportunity to change the heart of another. We are not put on this earth to merely live and exist, we are ultimately here to share the kingdom of God with all people, to live righteously (not perfect) and to love God with our heart and soul.
Matthew 22:37 Jesus replied, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind.’
Romans 1:6-7 And you, dear friends in Rome, are among those he dearly loves; you, too, are invited by Jesus Christ to be God’s very own—yes, his holy people. May all God’s mercies and peace be yours from God our Father and from Jesus Christ our Lord.
1 Corinthians 13 If I had the gift of being able to speak in other languages without learning them and could speak in every language there is in all of heaven and earth, but didn’t love others, I would only be making noise. If I had the gift of prophecy and knew all about what is going to happen in the future, knew everything about everything, but didn’t love others, what good would it do? Even if I had the gift of faith so that I could speak to a mountain and make it move, I would still be worth nothing at all without love.
Love is the ultimate gift, when we profess our faith – share it with the love of Jesus. The heart of Jesus; we are for many — the only bible they will ever see.
Let your life reflect that love. Go in peace, live in harmony.
It is not our place to judge or demoralize, I am no better than you, I do however, have a heavenly promise – my fate is sealed, nothing I can do or say now or ever will remove me from the love of my Father. Having a relationship with God is like no other. It guides my life, refreshes my spirit, gives meaning to the ordinary and brings out the extraordinary in many circumstances. I am blessed. I am loved.
Romans 3:21-22 But now God has shown us a different way to heaven—not by “being good enough” and trying to keep his laws, but by a new way (though not new, really, for the Scriptures told about it long ago). Now God says he will accept and acquit us—declare us “not guilty”—if we trust Jesus Christ to take away our sins. And we all can be saved in this same way, by coming to Christ, no matter who we are or what we have been like.
Usually at least once a week I am mystified by a situation in my life and confusion sets in.
Our first instinct is to fix it ourselves. BIG mistake. The more we try to fix, the bigger the problem becomes. It’s as if we are taking one small hill and overnight turning it into a mountain.
Philippians 4:8 Fix your thoughts on what is true and good and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely, and dwell on the fine, good things in others. Think about all you can praise God for and be glad about.
Psalm 71:15 I cannot count the times when you have faithfully rescued me from danger. I will tell everyone how good you are, and of your constant, daily care.
We do best when we don’t go it alone. Put your faith and circumstances in God, He will never lead you astray.
In the U.S. we celebrate Thanksgiving on November 26th. It is a day to gather friends and family together, share a meal, watch football, go to a movie, nap.
But like many major holidays, oftentimes the true reason for the season is forgotten underneath the pretty packages, music, traditions and favorite foods.
It should not be remembered as the day before the biggest shopping day, or the day of endless eating, but instead – gathering together as the pilgrims did once, after landing here — in their new home.
Click on this picture to read the history of Thanksgiving!
Psalm 100:4 Go through his open gates with great thanksgiving; enter his courts with praise. Give thanks to him and bless his name.
Oh, how grateful and thankful I am to the Lord because he is so good. I will sing praise to the name of the Lord who is above all lords.
What are you grateful for?
I am thankful to have a Heavenly Father who knows me, I am grateful for my family, friends, and those I do not know – I pray for all. I am grateful for the technology that helps keep me alive (pacemaker), and my sweet dog Max!
2 Peter 3 reminds us that all happens in God’s time; not ours.
Paul was in jail during this time, he remembers people in his prayers, he thanks God for his situation (do we EVER do that???) and he encourages others.
Until recently I haven’t grasped the concept of thanking God for the hard times. However, I see that gratitude isn’t just for the “good stuff,” if that were true, we’d only be happy when life was happy. Even in our deepest sorrow or pain, God is there, his desire is that we lean on him. By doing so, a small piece inside our heart grows; pushing the sorrow and pain out. How can we possibly have room for love and happiness if our heart is stone cold and black? We can’t. That’s where being grateful for all of it, comes into play.
It’s not easy to be grateful for the pain. I know. But if it brings us out of something harsh and cold into the loving arms of Jesus, what better path to love?
Be a blessing. Be blessed.
PS “The Pieces” is not currently available, it is going through a 2nd editing. It will be back on the shelves at Amazon by November 5, 2015.
Moments create life. Some are harsh realities, others are joyful attributes, but all consume our living spaces, the air we breathe, our thoughts and feelings, actions and attempts, whether we succeed or fail – all depends on the foundation on which we stand. Is yours on sand or concrete?
We are not hopeless.
We deserve grace.
I hear you in the breeze. I see you in the sun and blue sky. I walk with you in my daydreams. When I sing – I feel your spirit. You are here – in all of my life. Thank you.
Isaiah 50:4 ….Morning by morning he wakens me and opens my understanding to his will.