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Deep, Sweet Thoughts of Jesus

Not often enough do we turn our hearts to heaven for the sheer joy of seeing Jesus. We fill our days with trivial pursuits, do we not?

Drink from the fountain, the Life-giving fountain, and fill your thirsty soul with the wine of heaven.

That just bubbled up.

And here’s a practical approach.

Imagine the gospel scene of the wedding in Cana and how Jesus turned gallons and gallons of water into wine. Think deeply about what happened by imagining being there. This is a dynamic, creative way to pray, to turn and see Jesus. Notice everything about Him. Be there.

Our imaginations were made for God above all else. We should invite Him in more often.

Another way to experience being with Jesus is to be more aware of His company. We can converse with Him inwardly all day long.

Or, look closely at a flower and consider the miracle and beauty of it and that God made it. The wonder of creation is just a taste, a hint of the stunning, unimaginable wonders to come. This earth and life is a stage on which the Divine Drama is unfolding. Keeping this perspective helps us live through the horrors of evil as well as the boredom, stress, disappointments, and daily grind we all must endure.

A. W. Tozer wrote: “If you will narrow your interests, God will enlarge your heart. ‘Jesus only’ seems to the unconverted man to be a motto of death, but a great company of happy men and women can testify that it became to them a way into a world infinitely wider and richer than anything they had ever known before. To know Him in growing intimacy is to increase in appreciation of all things good and beautiful. The mansions of the heart will become larger when their doors are thrown open to Christ and closed against the world and sin. Try it.” -A.W. Tozer, The Size of the Soul.

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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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The God of Great and Small

In a pottery and glass gift shop in the mountains of North Carolina, I came across a tiny piece of glass art and bought it. When I first saw it, I wondered how the artist managed to make something so tiny, about 1/4″ in size, yet with unique, distinctive parts. Its smallness is what made it special to me. I named her “Suzie the flea” because of the joy she gave me. I also saw she had a destiny to fulfill in God’s kingdom of love. Since then, she’s flown by airmail many thousands of miles across the country to bear witness to God’s creative love and favor. The recipients have sent her back to me after she’s lifted their hearts. Suzie represents to me persons who are “little” in God’s kingdom yet each one holds a dear place in His heart.  Their smallness is endearing to Him. These are the hidden ones who stay in the background; they are not in the spotlight of God’s kingdom. He’s jealous to keep them there for His own reasons. I take great comfort in that. No more striving to be someone I am not. I am confident in this alone: God favors me and has destined to use me with messages of His love. I am small, like Suzie. Yet I am dear and can be greatly used in His kingdom. As can you.

 

 

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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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Our Weakness Can Be Our Strength.

My new writing project is stretching me out of my comfort zone but that’s good.  I think because the topic of my book is about deep devotion to Christ and the creative pursuit of God, which is the highest form of art that arises from our soul. My main problem is that an overwhelming amount of content wants a place in my book. It is like a tsunami of living water that I’m trying to tame into a peaceful brook.

Yeah! Anyway, here’s a single quote that rose to the surface today:

 “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” A. W. Tozer.

While doing some research, I came across this artist, Paul Smith. He brings to life the meaning of this Scripture: “Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Cor. 12:10 NKJV).

This is such a moving testimony. Watch to the very end; God is being glorified through this artist.  You’ll want to share it.

 

 

 

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