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Archive for May, 2008

troubled waters

Originally uploaded by susan.house

 

Looking we see the “troubled waters” Simon and Garfunkel sing about.  There are times our lives feel in as much turmoil as this river. Illnesses of loved ones, unexpected death of a spouse, children taken from us way too soon, bankruptcy, divorces are just a few causes of the raging waters in life. However, it is when the water is raging that the beauty is created. It is when the water is raging that the Grand Canyon is being carved. It is when the water is raging that the canyons of Zion National Park are created. It is when our waters are raging that “the rigteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”

During these times, trees are uprooted, boulders fall away from the mountainside and are tossed and strewn haphazardly along the banks. It is now we so desparately want the bridge Simon and Garfunkel sing about in their song Bridge Over Troubled Waters.  What is difficult to remember when the waters are raging around tearing our life apart in reckless abandonment is God is near, God is in control, God is creating beauty from the unrelenting havoc we are experiencing.  Unfortunately, the hardest thing to remember at these times, is our Heavenly Father is grieving with us and standing with open arms to cradle us and ease our sobs of disappointment, hurt, and grief.  It is during these times, as the poem Footprings tell us there is only one set of footprints because that is when He was carrying us.  Our bridge is God’s precious Son, Jesus Christ.

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Psalm 23

Originally uploaded by susan.house
   

Some pictures only require the Scripture that goes with it. This is one of them. The Bible I use for all my blogs is the NIV unless I state differently.

Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.

   He makes me lie down in green pastures,

He leads me beside quiet waters,

   He restores my soul.

He guides me in paths of righteousness

   for His name’s sake.

Even though I walk

   through the valley of the shadow of death,

I will fear no evil,

   for you are with me;

your rod and your staff,

   they comfort me.

 

You prepare a table before me

   in the presence of my enemies.

You anoint my head with oil;

   my cup overflows.

Surely goodness and love will follow me

   all the days of my life,

and I will dwell in the house of the Lord

   forever.

 

May each of you have a Happy  and Safe Memorial Day.  Also, thank you to all the servicemen and servicewomen who have served our country or are serving so I have the freedom to worship God freely and without persecution.  For ones who have lost life, may this psalm bring your loved ones some peace and God bring you some healing.  For ones who have been injured may you draw strength from it. Thanks to all of you who have lost a loved one or has a loved one serving in the armed forces for making this sacrifice. 

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Originally uploaded by susan.house

Recently I heard about a minister who was trying to help a neighbor get a kitten down from a tree. Unfortunately, the kitty was so high up in the tree the minister could only lasso a rope to the top of the tree. He did this in an attempt to get the kitty close enough for him to reach up and grab it. Just as he reached out for the kitten, the rope came off the treetop and the poor kitty went flying through the air. The minister searched the neighborhood over and could not find the poor little thing. A few days later, he stopped at the local grocery store to pick up a few things on his way home. While there, he saw one of his parishoners picking up cat food, kitty litter, and other supplies required to take care of a cat properly. Knowing this woman hated cats and had sworn she would never own one, he just had to ask her why her cart was filled with all these things. She responded her daughter had been asking for a kitty and she had told her absolutely not. The only way she would ever get a kitty was if God gave her one. Just then, here comes this little kitty flying through the air and landed right in front of her daughter in the front yard. How could I say no?

Sometimes we don’t have an answer given us in quite so definite a way; however, we can always have the reassurance God is leading us. It gives me such peace to be able to turn to so many places in the Bible where God is telling His people He will guide them. How comforting it is to know my God is still, 2700 years later telling me ….”This is the way; walk in it.”

If you are having a difficult time reading the verse on the picture, click on the picture to see a larger version.  The Scripture was taken from the NIV Bible.

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Originally uploaded by susan.house
 
 
 
 

 

On this portion of the trip I took thousands of pictures, literally. No matter which direction a person looks, the view was breathtaking. Nonetheless, this picture is probably my favorite picture of this area. One reason is because this picture was taken as my brother was driving at about 65 to 70 miles an hour down the highway. For this picture to be so clear is a near miracle. Second, when I look at this picture it seems even the mountains are exalting Our Most High God and as it says in Isaiah 55: 12, it appears as though “the mountains and hills will burst into song before you”. Finally, it appears heaven is simply a mere step up into the clouds.

Another verse I recall when looking at this picture is Isaiah 54:10, “Though the mountains be shaken and hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed.”  I can’t even attempt to imagine the force necessary to shake this mountain; yet the Father’s love for each of us is so much more and His peace so never-ending. 

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Originally uploaded by susan.house
 
 

 

This morning I awoke to a loud pounding sound outside my window. Now, this has been nothing unusual for the last year as apartments are being built next door to the RV park I’ve taken up residence in. But this pounding was loud and it was right outside my window and my next door neighbor had gone home for the summer. So, I raised myself out of bed and peered out the window to see this beautiful woodpecker feeding on the tree outside my window. This remined me of a conversation I had about my last post. The individual reminded me that at 5 a.m. on a Saturday the song of my little songbird is not necessarily what a person wants to hear.

Then I realized the message we sometimes have for others may not sound any better than my little songbird early on a week-end morning or the pounding of my beautiful woodpecker. However, I do hope that even though the message may come at an unwanted time or fall on ears that don’t want to receive, I hope the way it is given is as harmonious as my little songbird singing on a summer afternoon.

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Originally uploaded by susan.house

 

I love nature!! This is one of the reasons I love to travel in my RV. Just looking at the nature God provides us I learn so many lessons. This little bird and his beautiful song reminds me of David in Psalm 19: 1-4 where he tells us how we can learn from nature. Here, David states “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.”

Here are these little birds with such beautiful songs being heard by all. Are my words and my song as pleasant to hear as this tiny bird’s? Does my voice bring the same peace and joy to God’s kingdom as this little one’s? It brings me to a complete halt when I realize this little “voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world” and without effort brings joy to the hearts of the ones who hear it. Does my “voice” even come close to doing the same?

Lord, make my “voice” as pleasant to hear as this little one who fills your skies. Let my “voice” declare Your love with the same harmonious song as this little one.  Let my “voice” for You bring joy to the hearts of the ones who hear me.  Most of all, Lord, let it bring peace to their souls.  Amen

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