January 14, 2018

The Bridge


I love to take pictures of this bridge on our neighborhood walking trail. Below is one I took in the fall as I approached the bridge. This recent picture above captures the barrenness of winter and yet it also captures the beauty of winter. I think that is what I enjoy about it so much.

I have peered over the sides during seasons of drought and flood and also witnessed the ordinary normal rhythm of the flowing creek below. I always stop and check on the creek when I pass this way on the walking trail.

I have left footprints in the snow on this bridge and I have watched sunlight stream through the lush summer leaves. I have rested in its canopy of shade when the summer heat makes even a morning walk hot.

It is not just the creek below that I enjoy on my stops on the bridge.

There is something more, something else special about this bridge.

I like the strength I feel beneath my feet as I securely stand supported by concrete and steel. I feel safe.

I feel safe because this bridge is firm and strong!

The strength of this bridge reminds me of the One who is my strength.

Psalm 18:1-2
I will love You, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.


January 10, 2018

When We Blow It Again

After listening to someone share how they blew it by losing their patience over a very small matter when their sincere intention was to keep calm in a disagreeable situation, I was reminded how recently a similar thing had happened to me. 

Just when I think I am making progress in an area, I turn around and blow it again. I wasn’t looking to lose my control and say things I didn’t mean to say. And yet a simple conversation and small disagreement with my husband spiraled into heated words and I definitely blew it with my tongue. It was so trivial and stupid of me. I blew it again…

I was madder at myself than my husband was. For him it blew over very quickly but I continued to punish myself with the question, why did I do it? I didn’t want to do it! But I did it.

Why am I so prone to sin? Does that sound familiar? 

I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. Romans 7:15 (NIV) 

Why can’t I do a better job of reigning myself in? Why did I do something I didn’t even want to do?

Do you hear the condemnation ringing loud in this battle raging within me? There is an answer. There is now no condemnation.

There–is–now–no-condemnation. 

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. Romans 8:1-2 (NIV) 

When I blow it again, there is no condemnation because Jesus took care of that for me. I am so thankful for this truth. I need to accept this beautiful gift of no condemnation. It is part of my inheritance as a born again believer and child of God.

I don’t want to blow it again. But I probably will. 

January 7, 2018

A Prayer to Endure


Endure is a word I have thought about lately. I have been thinking about it since before the new year even started. It is the word that describes a life of faith and puts the focus on our choice to persevere one day at a time and year after year. To endure is where our faith comes fully alive.
 
Yes, I pray that  our faith will endure and that our walk will endure. I pray that we will run this race well and that we will diligently persevere and stay the course.

Stumbling and getting back up, falling but standing strong again.

Endure through loss,
Endure through disappointment.

Endure through uncertainty,
Tried and tested but proven.

Endure in our Bible reading and in our prayer life.

Endure in having a more giving heart and being intentional with our time.

Endure in our relationships with people and being attentive to all around us.

I pray with utmost sincerity that we will endure in trusting the Lord with all our heart. This will make all the difference between coasting and living out a faith that is fully alive.

Hebrews 12:1-2 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.