Fleeting Beauty

Proverbs 31:30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting: but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.

The peonies in Minnesota were in full bloom this past week. It was a good year for the gorgeous backyard flowers. Then overnight a storm rolled through and the beautiful heavy blooms were on the ground…. gone for another year.

Search for God’s beauty in the world. It is everywhere. Beauty can be found in a garden. Beauty can be found in the face of a child. Beauty can be found in your heart. Share God’s lasting beauty with the world.

Surface beauty is fleeting, but beauty from within never fades. God bless you as you enjoy a beautiful summer week!

Sprinkle Love

Luke 6:27-31 “But I tell you who hear me; Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you.”

Hate and fear have filled the news for weeks. From social media to TV to coworkers all we hear are negative messages. I don’t know about you, but I began to spiral. How will we ever survive these dark times of pandemic, riots and racism?

How do we turn these negative situations into something beautiful? By changing our focus to do good for all people by giving to those in need. Evil has no control over our lives when we have saturated it in love.

Love – I am blessed to know Jesus’ love. And by sprinkling Jesus’ love on others we are able to change the world.

SEEK PEACE

Psalm 34:14 Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.

Peace…..

Pray for peace…..

Pray for Minnesota…..

Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it. (The word of God)

The Singing Trees

1 Chronicles 16:30-33 Tremble before him, all the earth! The world is firmly established; it cannot be moved. Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let them say among the nations, “The Lord reigns!” Let the sea resound, and all that is in it; let the fields be jubilant and everything in them! Then the trees of the forest will sing, they will sing for joy before the Lord.

The trees were singing for joy this week. Rejoice in the beauty the Lord has splashed in your neighborhood. God was really showing off this week. Our backyard was filled with beauty from the flowering trees to the orange oriole eating grape jelly on the deck to the smell of freshly cut green grass and blooming plants.

We live in a beautiful world. Our lives have slowed down over the last couple months. We have been given the gift of time. Time to take longer walks. Time to sit in the backyard. Time to thank God for all the beauty he has given us in nature.

We sing for joy before you Lord, at your splashy show of vibrant colors in our world! Our God Reigns

The News

Psalm 142 I cry aloud to the Lord; I lift up my voice to the Lord for mercy. I pour out my complaint before him; before him I tell my trouble. When my spirit grows faint within me, it is you who know my way. In the path where I walk men have hidden a snare for me. Look to my right and see; no one is concerned for me. I have no refuge; no one cares for my life. I cry to you, O Lord; I say, “You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living.” Listen to my cry for I am in desperate need; rescue me from those who pursue me, for they are too strong for me. Set me free from my prison, that I may praise your name. Then the righteous will gather about me because of your goodness to me.

The nightly news is filled with COVID-19 stories. Some are uplifting, but most are depressingly sad. It is hard to follow, as the information seems to change daily. Between television and social media, I don’t know what to believe anymore. So, where do you go for your up-to-date, accurate information? I go to the maker and creator of the universe…..

The Bible is literally the best book every written. David, who wrote Psalm 142, lived in 1000 BCE. I am in awe at how his words written over 3000 years ago remain relevant today. If you feel anxious about the new normal as the world begins opening up again, fall into the comfort of The Word to find your way.

Praise the name of Jesus! He cares for you. You are loved. You have nothing to fear, for he has set you free from the worries of this world. This week read The Good News instead of listening to the nightly news. You are going to love this relevant page turner!

Rejoice

Psalm 118:24-27 This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. O Lord, save us; O Lord, grant us success. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. From the house of the Lord we bless you. The Lord is God, and he has made his light shine upon us. With boughs in hand, join in the festal procession up to the horns of the alter. You are my God, and I will give you thanks; you are my God, and I will exalt you. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.

REJOICE! God has given you this very special, one of a kind day. How will you spend it? We have so much to be thankful for, even during a world wide pandemic. Place your faith over your fear as you rejoice in all you have been given. Join the festal procession!

Today we pause to rejoice in the gift of motherhood. The strong bond between a mother and child is indescribable. Every child is a blessing from God. Every mother a special gift chosen by God, just for you. I give God thanks, for he is good, the love he has shown me through my mom endures forever.

REJOICE! This is the day the Lord has made. Choose to be glad in it.

He. Delights. In. You.

Zephaniah 3:17 The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.

Zephaniah 3:17 is my pandemic verse. Read it again….. God is with me. God is mighty. God has saved me. God takes delight in ME. God will quiet me during these unknown days. God rejoices over me. God sings over me.

The Minnesota stay at home order was extended two additional weeks. Every day more and more summer events are cancelled. This virus knows no timeline. But, neither does our God. He is with you every minute of every day.

How are you spending your quarantine time? Some are essential workers, fighting on the front line. Some are sheltering in place to protect those most vulnerable. Some are sharing virtual stories. Some are sewing masks. Some are preparing meals. Some are teaching their children. Everyone is finding ways to adjusting to a new normal. No matter how you are getting through the unknown, know this…….. He. Delights. In. You.

We Are All In This Together

2 Corinthians 1:3-7 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.

How are you all doing? The range of emotions I feel in just one day are overwhelming, and we have been in this pandemic for over a month. I have been doing a lot of knitting (it calms me). I have also been spending more time on the phone with my kids and parents. How are you comforting those around you?

With the gift of extra time I have been given, I spending more time in prayer and the Bible. The power and wisdom of God’s Word is simply the best. God is bigger than all my fears! Where are you receiving comfort?

God bless you as we continue to quarantine alone, knowing that we are all in this together. We will come out the other end stronger because of the love we have shared during these COVID days.

THE EMPTY TOMB

Luke 24:1-12 On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you , while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’” Then they remembered his words. When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others. It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles. But they did not believe the women,, because their words seemed to them like nonsense. Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. Bending over, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves, and he went away, wondering to himself what had happened.

The women found the tomb empty…. Today we find our churches empty. Praise God! The Spirit is at work in the lives of his children through this entire pandemic. Bible sales are up 78%. People are searching in the emptiness. Help those exploring the empty places in this life find the promise of fullness in eternal life.

Hallelujah! He is risen. He is risen indeed.

GOOD FRIDAY

Luke 23:26-56 As they led him away, they seized Simon from Cyrene, who was on his way in from the country, and put the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus. A large number of people followed him, including women who mourned and wailed for him. Jesus turned and said to them, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep for yourselves and for your children. For the time will come when you will say, ‘Blessed are the barren women, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!’ Then they will say to the mountains, “Fall on us!” and the hills, “Cover us!” For if men do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?

Two other men both criminals were also led out with him to be executed. When they came to the place called the Skull, there they crucified him, along with the criminals – one on his right, the other on his left. Jesus said, “Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots. the people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at him. They said “He saved others; let him safe himself if he is the Christ of God, the Chosen One.” The soldiers also came up and mocked him. They offered him wine vinegar and said, “If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself.”

There was a written notice above him, which read: THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS. One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Christ? Save yourself and us!” But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Jesus answered him, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.”

It was no about the sixth hour, and darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour, for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last. The centurion, seeing what had happened, praised God and said, “Surely this was a righteous man.” When all the people who had gathered to witness this sight saw what took place, they beat their breasts and went away. But all those who knew him, including the women who had followed him from Galilee stood at a distance, watching these things.