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Beauty Cheers the Heart

Beauty Cheers the Heart

Proverbs 17:22 says “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”

White scenes of winter soothe me because I grew up in Minnesota and enjoyed a wonderful childhood full of love, play, and no worries. These days, I grieve for children who do not have the benefit of a fearless childhood.

I wept watching the news of the school shooting in Florida. So, so tragic! More loss of innocent lives, so full of promise.  And when ordinary people become heroes and pay the ultimate price . . . we feel sympathy for their families and friends.  We see the funerals on the news. I pray for those who mourn everyone lost and injured. And what about the survivors? They’ll never be the same . . but for God’s grace and help.

Below is a photograph of a scene in Kuhmo, Finland. It lifted me into God’s arms because its beauty cheered my heart. I hope it does the same for you. Scroll down . . . This is a real place.

Even though the horrors of evil abound, the beauty, majesty, and reality of God is greater. One day all will be restored and there will be no more evil. Jesus promised. We will live in a restored, new world where Beauty and Goodness is all we will know.

“He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death, or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away” Proverbs 21:4.

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God’s Thoughts in Ours

As a seasoned God-listener, I know prayer is not only one-way dialogue.

Once I felt surprised by something I felt God “said” to me. I wondered,  Is this my thought or God’s?

The next thing that popped into my head was a question. A loaded one. “What is thought?”

God had asked me a lighthearted (which I sensed inwardly) yet “weighty” rhetorical question.

What is thought?

I queried “What is thought?” in an internet search engine. Wow! Somebody gave me an answer.

Curious, I read it. God smiled at me the whole time, of that I’m sure.

Neuroscience engineers might not include “God’s thoughts in ours” as part of their science, but they have mindboggling things to say about the nature of thought.

This article is by Elizabeth Dougherty; from the MIT School of Engineering’s article—“Ask An Engineer.” I provided a link to the entire article below.

Dougherty wrote: “The human brain is composed of about 100 billion nerve cells (neurons) interconnected by trillions of connections, called synapses. On average, each connection transmits about one signal per second. Some specialized connections send up to 1,000 signals per second. ‘Somehow… that’s producing thought,’ says Charles Jennings, director of neurotechnology at the MIT McGovern Institute for Brain Research.

“An electrical signal propagates like a wave along the long threads called axons that are part of the connections between neurons. When the signal reaches the end of an axon, it causes the release of chemical neurotransmitters into the synapse, a chemical junction between the axon tip and target neurons. A target neuron responds with its own electrical signal, which, in turn, spreads to other neurons. Within a few hundred milliseconds, the signal has spread to billions of neurons in several dozen interconnected areas of your brain . . . imagine how trillions of connections and billions of simultaneous transmissions coalesce inside your brain to form a thought.” (Used with permission.)

That explains everything, right? Oh, how I love God. “How great are your works, LORD, how profound your thoughts!” (Psalm 92:5 NIV).

God is gloriously, impossibly complex but manages to dumb down everything into very simple, understandable terms. His thoughts are voiced in us so simply. Sometimes we get just a prompting or a strong urge–He doesn’t even need words. But He likes them a lot.

Inspiration is God getting His thoughts into ours. I wonder if electric impulse signals are a lightning show going on in our brains in which our neurons dance with God’s when they come to us. We are fearfully and wonderfully made. God made us to receive His thoughts but His thoughts are not ours, they are above ours in every way.

Of course the safe place to gain God’s thoughts are in the Bible. That’s the place of God’s most reliable “self-revelation” — the place He’s chosen to speak to inspired prophets and apostles. Anything evil, harmful, condemning, or unloving would not be from Him. The Word of God is always communicating with us and uses all sorts of creative ways to do so.

We just need ears to hear–which is spiritual receptivity. We just need to tune in.

 

Credit: What are thoughts made of?   https://engineering.mit.edu/engage/ask-an-engineer/what-are-thoughts-made-of/

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Hope

It’s Sunday today. One week after the senseless, violent murders that took place in a small Christian church family in Texas. What a horrible, tragic thing!—and to happen in a place of worship. Our country is still mourning the deaths of too many innocents taken in Las Vegas. What is happening to our society? Why is there so much hatred everywhere? We are worried about the evil in the hearts of the leader of North Korea and in ISIS terrorists, but evil is lurking in countless, lost souls worldwide.

And it is everywhere. Nowhere is safe. The cliché “What is this world coming to?” is a resounding cry that echoes from our hearts in our everyday thoughts. Lord, God of heaven and earth, save us!

A generation shows how fast things are becoming evil. When I was growing up, I could freely play outdoors all day long. At age twelve, I took a city bus on my own to a large metropolitan downtown. When I left the house on summer days, I’d take off on my bicycle early in the day and return in time for dinner. My parents never worried about me. I had no cell phone or tracking device on me. We didn’t need it.  Now my children are parents. They are afraid to let their children play in the backyard.  As grandma, I’m sometimes brought in to help keep their kids safe. If we lose sight of a child for a few moments at the store, we panic. One of us must escort the kids to the school bus stop and meet them there when they are dropped off. A school bus is still considered potentially dangerous for my twelve-year-old grandson.

I am reading John Eldredge’s new book, ALL THINGS NEW. Talk about the need we have for hope, this book couldn’t be better timed. I have been praying with this book, turning every truth and insight into communication with God. I haven’t gotten far into the book’s pages to know the author is reminding me of what I’ve known, as a follower of Jesus, for a long time. I just needed to hear about my “hope” in depth from a man of God, a person who understands human hearts and God’s heart and has a way with words that hits the mark in our souls. Thank you, John Eldredge, for being sensitive to God’s heart at this time and for giving us the reminder we so desperately need.

People of the Kingdom of Jesus, we have what we need for these days. We are in the know, even though we still ask “Why? Why? Why?” as we hear the “bad news” on the News every night. Beloved brothers and sisters, we know where we are headed. It’s just that at this time, we need the Lord’s comfort and His reminder. Hang on to your hope.

Lord, let us “see” that we are in the Last Days with eyes of HOPE, focused on You and Your promises. What we most hope for is around the corner.

I told the Lord this morning that my hope lies in Him, in His promises for the GOOD, love, and beauty He wants for all people. His Kingdom is about to fully come and will invade the darkness and cast it away. God wants us to be comforted and uplifted. Faith, hope, and love are the strongest powers we have—and they come from God. What is happening in our world is that we are spinning faster and faster towards the “restoration of all things” that Jesus promised us. It will get darker before the DAWN. Let your hope rise. We were made for the kind of life that began at the dawn of Creation—our paradise lost. But Jesus promised to make all things new here on this earth. Do yourself a favor, pick up John Eldredge’s book. It will do your heart good.

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The “Last Days” are These Days

When our daily news sounds like The Tribulation spoken about in Revelation, as well as what Jesus foretold in Matthew 24, we have to realize these are the biblical Last Days we are living in. We might be tempted to focus on all the terrible and horrifying events happening but I don’t think the Lord would want His own to be dwelling on that.  We need to be about His kingdom work as never before.  And, most important, we need to give the Lord our  hearts and ears these days to draw close to Him. He loves us so much and is longing for us. Think of all He has done to have us.

In our world, the dark grows darker; the Light becomes brighter. Jesus is returning soon for His Beloved (we are His Bride).  That’s where our focus should be. We need to be lovingly close to Him. Be encouraged in that we are nearing the climax in God’s Story and our Lord Jesus is soon to be fully revealed.

The Art of Loving God is my current writing project and I believe dear to the Lord’s heart. I covet your prayers especially now as a wonderful Christian literature agent has taken on the book and will be submitting it to Christian publishers at this time. The writing is going well. I would be blessed to share chapters by email to get your feedback and discernment while the project is ongoing. I am working on Chapters 4 and 5 now. I have 10 chapters outlined. Send me an email at mmontreuil@ymail.com and I will send you chapters.

 

I came across a booklet I wrote to convince Jewish people that their own descendant of King David is Yeshua (Jesus) the Messiah; and to convince anyone else as well.  It is amazing how extraordinarily and perfectly Jesus of Nazareth fulfilled the Messianic prophecies in Scripture.

You can easily download the PDF of the booklet (see link below) and share it in emails, in person, or you can copy it and spread it around by any means possible. I put this together in 2014 because I had looked all over for a list of prohecies Jesus fulfilled, anything of that nature, but I found nothing.  I wanted handouts for a “Jewish and Christian Librarians” conference–yes, it was different to see the two camps together, in which I was invited to share my books.  I created this document/booklet to give away at that conference. The Word of God is proven throughout history as well as well as in the world today. Please click on the link to the PDF.  I revised it in case you have an older copy from 2014.

The Jewish Messiah Prophecies Fulfulled 3 10. 12.2017

Shalom and blessings,

 

Margaret

 

 

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The Gift of Free Hearts

I’ve been writing The Art of Loving God and an image of two horses running free along a beach persists and just won’t go away. The symbolic idea has been with me since I first thought about this book idea. Today, I finally gave in and sought God to help me see whatever it is He is saying through it. In fact, going a step further, I thought I’d find a photograph of what I have been seeing and share it here. This picture I bought online matches and now I’m pondering deeply what God is saying through it.

I have been writing about the idea that God gave us free wills and what a tremendous power that is. Some call this free will, but the will is governed by the heart. The greatest gift our Creator has given each of us is a free heart. That gift cost Him. God values what freedom means because love, to be real, cannot be forced or manipulated. He knows our hearts lead us in the pursuit of what we hold most dear.

Most of us cannot wrap our minds around the idea that we are, particularly, most dear to God. Once we get it, God becomes most dear to us. Loving the Lord above all is more than obeying the First Commandment. Our hearts are like horses that run wherever they please, but when our hearts find God’s heart, well, think of two horses running and frolicking on the beach.

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Why I Love Poppies

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