He is More Grand

(Pictures taken on my recent trip to the Grand Canyon)GC red rocks

My eyes are filled with wonder, dear Father.

I look with breathless amazement at this Grand Canyon, the work of your hands.

The pinks, the reds, the blues, the purples and the greens!

I praise you for all of the colors of the rainbow!

Thank you for the extreme care you took in designing my eyes so I can enjoy the rest of your creation!

The canyon is so huge!

And reminds me of your love for me – how deep!  How wide! How high!

DSC_0196I feel so small….just a spot of dust that is here for a short time and then will blow away.

You are so significant! Who am I that you should care for even the hairs on my head?

But then I remember your words to me – I am your child.  You have adopted me for eternity and I matter to you.  You promise me that you have great plans for me and that you will not stop until those plans are complete.

Yes, dear Father!

I am not insignificant to you.  Thank you for the confidence that knowledge gives me!DSC_0178

As I watch a rain cloud float over the canyon, sending its rain down to the bottom of the canyon, I remember the storm clouds that regularly float into my life.  And I know that you are right beside me every time the rain falls…everytime the wind howls…everytime the storm tries to blow me away from you.  So I hold on even tighter and find my security in you.

I feel like I could look into this canyon forever and continue to see something new each time I looked.  I feel that same way about your precious Word to me.  Everytime I read it, opening my mind and heart, I read something new.

Something important.

Something very good.

Some new truth that I need to know.

Yes, this canyon is pretty grand.

But you are much more grand, Abba Father!  Your grandeur stretches out into infinity.  I get to see small bits and pieces of your awesomeness here on earth.  You are so much more!  Your creation is just a small reflection of your magnificence and beauty.

You are so much more!

 

 

Built on the Rock

This is the season when many of you are storm-proofing your houses.  Preparing for winter.  I grew up in Northwest Iowa so I know all about winter.  In Iowa, we also had to storm-proof our cars with better lubricants, snow tires and radiator heaters that we could plug-in every night.

Now that I live in Phoenix, we don’t need to do any storm-proofing except for making sure our air conditioners are in top shape before summer begins.

Jesus tells us that a wise person storm-proofs their life by building it on the Rock.  And Jesus is that Rock.October 27 2014 Built on the Rock

So when the rains of disappointment, grief and sadness pour down, our house will stand.

When the streams of hurt and lies and pain rise, our house will stand.

And when the winds of anger, hate and confusion beat upon our house, it does not fall.   Because its foundation is built upon the Rock.

Jesus says that a foolish person will build their house on sand and their house will crash down when the storm comes.  He says we are this foolish person if we hear his words and don’t put them into practice.

The storm is coming – it may already be blowing into your life – is your foundation ready?

Jesus tells us exactly what to do to storm-proof our lives.  We need to listen to him and obey.

Today is the day.  There is no better time than right now.

Dear Father, please guide us in building our lives upon the Rock.

Where am I planted?

A tree planted by a stream of water spreads its roots out to the stream and is rewarded with a constant source of nourishment.  The heat doesn’t bother it and its leaves are always green.  The tree doesn’t have to worry about rain or no rain – its planted in just the right spot.  It grows fruit every time its in season.  The storms come but the tree’s roots are strong and well-nourished so nothing can blow it away.

Sounds really nice, doesn’t it?  God uses this example a couple of times in his word to us – this time it’s in Jeremiah and the same picture is given to us in Psalm 1.July 31.2

Because this can be us.  This can be our life.  We can choose to plant our lives very close to the Living Water where we will be rewarded with a constant source of truth, peace, joy, love and encouragement. We will live fruitful, purposeful lives.  When we live close to the Living Water, we don’t have to worry about rain or no rain.  The storms come but we are firmly rooted, never blown away.

It’s not a one-time decision.  It’s a daily decision.

We decide if we’re going to live close to God today.

And then tomorrow we need to make the decision again.  And every day after that.

It’s priorities.  We all have a long list of things we can fill our days with that draw us away from God.

God just has to be more important to us than those things.

As God moves up our list of daily priorities, our roots grow stronger and we become better and better nourished.  We begin to grow more fruit.  We don’t have worry about rain and the storms don’t scare us.

By the time God gets to the top of our daily list of priorities, we are experiencing all of the blessings God has for us as we are lavishly fed by his Living Water.  Life is not perfect but it’s as good as it gets here on earth.  We have a Rock, we have a Refuge, we have a Counselor, we have the Truth, we have a loving Father and an Eternal Savior.

We need to seriously ask ourselves – where am I planted?  We can honestly tell where we’re planted by how much of the Fruits of the Spirit we are experiencing in our lives.  Love, Joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness, and self-control.  How much of these do we have in our lives?  The closer to God we grow, we experience more and more of these fruits in our lives.  If we want more of these, we know the Source.  it’s our choice.

Thank you, dear Father.