Feeling close to God

I think the first place I fell in love with was Hyde Lake in the Thousand Island region of New York. My grand parents had a cottage (trailer with an enclosed porch) there when I was young. It was a small lake in the country. A campground sat at the north end and the rest was dotted with cottages. Almost directly across the lake from them was a cliff 20 or 30 feet high with a rock ledge that stuck out that you could jump or dive off. The cottage was on the west side of the lake and the sun would rise over the trees on the cliff. Some mornings the lake was so calm it looked like mirror and would reflect the image of the cliffs and trees. So beautiful.

We would catch fish off the end of the dock, go swimming, catch frogs and crawfish for hours. Grandpa would bait my sister’s hook with a worm he had jus bit in half.  We would go for a boat ride and wave to the other people on the lake. They would ride by slowly pointing and staring at Grandma and Grandpa’s cottage with a tree growing out of it. We would go to the farmer’s stand and buy 18-24 ears of corn for 7 of us. Everywhere we went there were people calling out, “Hi Dot and Tony!” My Grandma would talk to the animals and put peanuts between her toes and the chipmunks would come take them. Grandpa would filet our perch and small mouth bass and cook them in the campfire.

It was so quiet and peaceful, away the busyness of the city. Everything seemed to slow down. I know it was vacation but it seemed like you had all the time in the world.  You saw so much of nature. The air was fresh and clean and the stairs were so bright. Life was stripped down; sleeping, eating, playing, spending time with people you love and that love you. It felt like a safe place to be yourself. I didn’t think about being close to God there. I wasn’t really in tune with that as a child. But I’m sure now, that was a part of it. It helps us to hear God’s voice and realize the beauty of the world around us.

Maybe that was the reason it felt so special.  Today when I see beauty in nature, I think of our Creator. There are so many different ways to experience God; a bird’s song, a sunset, the stars, rolling hills or the vastness of the sea. Sometimes I just stare out, in awe and wonder, at nothing in particular.  How did this all come to be? What an awesome, powerful and loving Father we have to have given us this world.

I started out writing about God and nature and it turned into reminiscing.  So many places over the years have been “God’s country” to me; camping different places and things we’ve seen in our travels.  The top three are Hyde lake, Camp Koinonia and our current home in Livingston County.  I always turn to praising and thanking God for creating these beautiful places and allowing me to experience them again and again.

Advertisements

What’s my job?

God has a job for all of us. He calls us to do His will in a specific way. But it’s even more then that. We are fashioned by Him to do “our” part. No one else can do our part. We were made for it, it’s our purpose here on earth.

Some of us are fortunate and in God’s time he reveals our calling to us. He speaks it to us and we know in our heart of hearts what to do. Some of us pray for His will and patiently, or impatiently, wait on His answer. Others aren’t listening or refuse to answer. And then sometimes He hits us right between the eyes.

So many “jobs” go unfulfilled because even if someone else wanted to, they couldn’t do our job. It’s like trying to put a puzzle together and just jamming the pieces together even though they don’t fit.

Imagine a world where everybody answered The Call. Everyone working to bring never ending glory and praise to our all deserving God. Spreading peace, comfort and joy. Someday, someday. This I pray.

I don’t decide

We don’t get to decide who deserves God’s love, mercy or grace.  God’s love for us is unconditional. He doesn’t dole out forgiveness based on what we have or haven’t done. His grace is an undeserved gift.

So here’s a question: If I am His hands and feet, if am supposed to be Jesus to His children here on earth, do I have the right to deny anyone His blessings?  If I am charged by God to love His people, can I decide who those people are? The answer is no. Jesus gave us a commandment, to love each other. Now it doesn’t matter if I like a person or not. It doesn’t matter if that person has harmed me or someone else. It doesn’t even matter if they believe in God or not.  I have to love everyone, I have to give them hope. I must share the Good News of Jesus Christ.  There are no limits to God’s love. I need to keep it that way and not put restrictions on it by judging who is worthy of His love.

Pennies from Heaven

Pennies from Heaven

Just found this in the parking lot. Some say that those on the other side can move small objects in this world. So I take these as little “hellos” or reminders from people that have gone to heaven.

I always pick up coins and check the date. Sometimes I see it’s significance. This year was a dark time but I was saved from my despair by the time the year was over. I had no idea that it was darkest before the dawn. I could not imagine my life as it is today.

Thank you Jesus for saving from myself. I could not change on my own. Four words saved my life “God, please help me.” In that moment of surrender He changed my life. I can never repay you no matter how hard I try. But that doesn’t matter to you. Your grace is an undeserved gift that you freely give to us because you love us more than anything.

20140528-165843-61123743.jpg

Are u listening?

Is God speaking to you? Are you listening? Are you ready to do what God is asking you to do? Is this too many questions?

I never know when God will speak to me. I don’t know how God will speak to me. And I don’t know what He will say. But I try to be ready to listen and keep my ears open to hear God’s voice. I didn’t know God would speak to me today through His Holy Word. I had no idea that Father’s sermon would hit me square between the eyes. What seemed so unclear yesterday seems to have come into focus today.

This spiritual journey I’m on, started many years ago. (At the time it didn’t know I was on this journey) Over the past six or so months I felt as though God was changing my heart, reshaping me for His plan. I had no idea what God was going to ask of me but I knew He had a plan.

Be patience, more will be revealed. Be willing, do not resist God’s guidance. Be vigilant, be ready to hear God’s voice. Be fearless, the enemy will try to discourage you from doing what God asks from you.

May The Lord Bless and keep you. May His face shine upon you and give you peace.

We are all Children of God

I don’t belong to this world. I don’t mean to single myself out or sound conceded. We are all Children of God and He wants us with him in heaven forever. And we don’t belong to this world.

To say we are Children of God is to say that God loves each one of us like a parent loves a child. We are precious to Him. He loves each one of us individually and wholly. His love for you is deeper and wider than the universe. You cannot fathom it. There is no scale to measure it with. Whether you go to Church, believe in the Bible or follow Jesus or not, believe and know that you are loved.

Ok, so what do we do with this information? We can discount it and go about with our earthly plans. We can hear it and believe it and say “Yes but He doesn’t love me, I’m not worthy.” We can know it’s the truth but not have faith or believe it in our hearts. Or we can believe it and feel it and then hide it under a bushel basket.

We can look at the world and say “If God loves us so much, why do so many suffer so much?” I’ll give you my opinion on a subject that many scholars, smarter than I, have tried to answer. Again it’s just my humble opinion and I don’t claim to have all the answers. I don’t even know most of the questions.

There is sin in the world, so there will be suffering and pain. There is evil all around us. And I don’t subscribe to the belief that God is punishing us for our transgressions. God is love.

This pain presents us with an opportunity to be Jesus in the world. I know, I know, it sounds corny but hear me out. If we are “created in God’s image” then shouldn’t we look, sound and act like Him. Shouldn’t we forgive those that hurt us? Shouldn’t we help the helpless? Shouldn’t we love the hopeless?

Even if someone won’t listen that God loves them, much less believe it, shouldn’t we love them like God loves all of us? Like many things in life it’s easier said then done. And I’m no angel and I fail at this all the time.

A friend once told me something she had heard about God. It goes something like this, God loves and respects us so much that he will not enter our lives and hearts unless he is invited. It’s the same with our prayers, we have to ask for God’s intervention. We must also believe in our hearts that He will help us.

Is that enough for miracles to happen? Not really. We need to understand the Power of Jesus’ name. He intercedes on our behalf to God the Father. In the book Heaven is Beyond Your Wildest Dreams I read, when we believe in our hearts and pray “in Jesus name” God cannot ignore us. He will command angels to deliver those miracles to us on Earth. They battle evil on their way to us and it takes time to get here from heaven. But sometimes we lose faith because it took too long. We can’t receive our miracle from God unless we have the faith. We must be vigilant, persistent and faithful. Remember St Paul said “Pray without ceasing” (1Thes 5:17)

This is just some of my ramblings, thoughts and things others have written. And I guess you could poke holes in it pretty easily if you try or you could experiment with some of this. See what results you get. You may look at your experiences on this Earth and be able to explain the previously unexplainable.

To have peace on earth and good will toward each other we need prayer and action. And lots of it! We need to pray that God may change people’s hearts. He needs to change the hearts of world leaders and other powerful leaders. We also have to ask for him to change our hearts and the hearts of specific people in our lives and communities. We also need to be a channel for God’s love for his children. We must be His instrument in the world to proclaim His love.

Love does not fail. It conquers all things. Love overcomes everything: death, hunger, poverty, evil, etc.

Can we show love like The Father?

I know God loves us. He loves us the way we are, the way he made us.  He loves even our brokenness.  And thank God, He does.  We are all broken and therefore we need God.

The amazing thing is that we can love each other.  As a human being I have the uncanny ability to recognize and point out others’ faults, all the while being so far from perfect.  We hurt each other, sometimes on purpose, and yet we can become divine in love and forgive or put some else’s needs first.  And love, again, again and again. We can do this by following Jesus’ example. The reason why we can do it is because God gives us the power to do it.

It’s a supernatural thing.  It’s like one person summoning the strength to lift a car off an accident victim.  God sends the Holy Spirit to change our hearts of stone.  He uses His power to help us make the decision to love.  But the decision to love is ours.  God does not force us to love. Like a parent He shows us the right way to love and let’s us make our choice.

God bless.