Archive | January 2014

morning mist

wmorningmist

Isaiah 44:22 (NLT) – I have swept away your offenses like a cloud, your sins like the morning mist. Return to Me, for I have redeemed you.

Photo by Aaron Paul Lazar
http://www.aaronlazar.blogspot.com

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talents

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… when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?
Luke 18:8

I heard a sermon in church last Sunday and I can’t stop thinking about it. It was taken from the book of Matthew, Chapter 25.
For it is just like a man about to go on a journey, who called his own slaves and entrusted his possessions to them. To one he gave five talents, to another, two, and to another, one, each according to his own ability; and he went on his journey. Immediately the one who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and gained five more talents. In the same manner the one who had received the two talents gained two more. But he who received the one talent went away, and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.

I’d heard the parable about the talents too many times to count, but it never struck me in quite the way it did this time. This time, I stopped to think about it, and I was chilled at the thoughts of the master’s return, how when he went to settle up his accounts, the two servants who had been faithful were rewarded, while the unfaithful one was cast away from his master’s sight.

Talents. God has given them to each of us according to our abilities. What has He given me?

I can’t sing like Laura Story, and I don’t have the financial resources of Donald Trump, but I have been given eyes to see and a heart to feel other’s sufferings. I have been given arms with which to hug them, a voice with which to speak a kind word, time with which to pray for them. I have been given a whole world full of people, and a commandment to love them.

John 15:12 “This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you.

The parable of the talents makes me think of the Christmas carol about the little drummer boy. He did not have the means of offering gold or fancy presents. He had only his God-given talent for playing the drum. And so he played, just for the sheer joy of pleasing the Lord Jesus.
In the sermon, it was brought out that the two faithful servants who increased their master’s resources did so out of love and respect for him, while the third man had a grudging, spiteful attitude.

I’d so rather be the little drummer boy than that guy.

Jesus, our Master, is coming back. Some day we will all stand before Him and give an account for how we used our lives and the talents He entrusted to us. And there will be no excuse that will be good enough for having wasted them

… when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?

Talents? I was inspired to write dozens of poems about the beauty you created in nature. I stuck them in a Rubbermade tote under the bed.
Talents? I bought cards for people who were hurting. I stuck them in the drawer of my nightstand.
Talents? I saved a couple of dollars out of my paycheck each week, meaning to send it to my favorite charity. It’s still right here in my piggybank.
Talents? I dug a hole and I stuck them in the ground.
At the end of the day, I don’t want to be that guy.
Do you?

Heavenly Father, Thank you for all that you have given me. Please help me to recognize the value in the resources, the talents, and the people you have placed in my life. Fill me with a spirit of love and a spirit of generosity, and help me to use my talents wisely, so that when You return, I may be found faithful in Your sight. In Jesus name. Amen.

Devotional by Jean Pike
Photo by Cleve Sylcox

winter

wwinter

He who marvels at the beauty of the world in summer will find equal cause for wonder and admiration in winter…. In winter the stars seem to have rekindled their fires, the moon achieves a fuller triumph, and the heavens wear a look of a more exalted simplicity.
~John Burroughs, “The Snow-Walkers,” 1866
Photo by Jean Pike

how firm a foundation

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How Firm A Foundation

How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord,
Is laid for your faith in His excellent Word!
What more can He say than to you He hath said,
You, who unto Jesus for refuge have fled?

In every condition, in sickness, in health;
In poverty’s vale, or abounding in wealth;
At home and abroad, on the land, on the sea,
As thy days may demand, shall thy strength ever be.

Fear not, I am with thee, O be not dismayed,
For I am thy God and will still give thee aid;
I’ll strengthen and help thee, and cause thee to stand
Upheld by My righteous, omnipotent hand.

When through the deep waters I call thee to go,
The rivers of woe shall not thee overflow;
For I will be with thee, thy troubles to bless,
And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.

When through fiery trials thy pathways shall lie,
My grace, all sufficient, shall be thy supply;
The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design
Thy dross to consume, and thy gold to refine.

Even down to old age all My people shall prove
My sovereign, eternal, unchangeable love;
And when hoary hairs shall their temples adorn,
Like lambs they shall still in My bosom be borne.

The soul that on Jesus has leaned for repose,
I will not, I will not desert to its foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I’ll never, no never, no never forsake.

Hymn by John Rippon, 1787
Photo by Marge McCoy