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Friday, May 27, 2016

Inspired by . . . Your Love is Loyal

Sadly, loyalty is not something you see a lot of these days. People are more likely to be loyal to a sports team, or their favorite beverage than they are to, say, their spouses or employers. In fact, a recent survey by MetLife found that employee loyalty is at a seven-year low.

My theory about loyalty is two-fold, and not at all based on anything scientific, but rather on life experience.



First, for some, loyalty is a character trait. They didn't learn to be loyal, they were born loyal. It's part of their personality and comes naturally to them. In these cases, the person tends to be fiercely loyal. Even willing to die or take the blame to protect another person.

Second, loyalty, when it is taught, has to be taught by example. You probably wouldn't tell your child to be loyal to this person, or that cause, but by being loyal yourself, to your spouse, your friend, employer, etc. you teach them the virtue of loyalty.

A lack of this virtue often results in betrayal. I'm sure many of you have faced a betrayal of some sort in your life. The hurt that comes from betrayal is complex and deep. It can be difficult to move past.

Jesus understood betrayal at the hands of men. He can relate to our pain. His love can heal us.



God's love is many things: faithful, sure, and steadfast. 

But most of all, His love is loyal.

God pledges Himself to us, 
And I will walk among you and will be your God, and you shall be My people. Exo 6:7; Lev 26:12; Jer 7:23; Jer 11:4; Jer 30:22; Eze 36:28
and tells us repeatedly in His word that He will never forsake us.
Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you." Deut 31:6; 1Sa 12:22; 1Ki 6:13; Psa 94:14; Isa 42:16; Heb 13:5
He has made a vow of allegiance to us in the form of His covenant.
Therefore {Jesus} is the Mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, since a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions committed under the first covenant. Heb 9:4
Have you been hurt, abandoned, betrayed?

Beloved, you can trust God with your pain. You can trust Him with your circumstance.

Flee to Him. Let Him be your refuge. 


So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of His purpose, He guaranteed it with an oath, so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. (Heb 6:17-18)
You can trust Him with your life.

Blessings,

Listen to the song that inspired this post:






Sharing inspiration here:
Small WondersTestimony Tuesday, #TellHisStory,
Thought Provoking Thursday, Grace & Truth, Let Us Walk Worthy,
Inspire Me Monday, RaRa Link Up, Intentional Tuesday,
#WordswithWinter, Titus 2 Tuesday, Thoughtful Thursdays,
Encourage Me Monday, Wholehearted Wednesday,
Women with Intention Wednesdays, Word Filled Wednesday,
#GiveMeGrace, Sitting Among Friends

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Inspired by . . . Life thru My Lens 21:52

It's a funny thing about the best laid plans . . . sometimes they just don't work out. We had initially planned this Mother's Day outing to LBJ Ranch last year. But mechanical problems sidelined us in Hye, TX and by the time things were fixed it was too late in the day to continue. Two other attempts had to be rescheduled until, finally, this month we were successful! It was a gray day, and we weren't too sure of the weather, but we were determined to make a go of it!

Our first destination was Wildseed Farms, and to our delight, the poppies were blooming!



The perfect start to our day!






From there we made our way to LBJ Ranch and the Texas Whitehouse. The Johnson's donated 600 acres to the National Parks Service, but the remaining acreage is still a working ranch.



The Dreamer and I had visited the Texas White House last year, but each guide shares something a little bit different, so it was just as interesting the second time around!



Here's my mom in front of the beautiful "cabinet" oak. So called because President Johnson often held cabinet meetings under it's graceful branches.




The Johnson Family cemetery is situated on the banks of the Pedernales river, and a more peaceful scene I cannot imagine.



President Johnson's grandmother's grave has a sweet little lamb on top, adding to the serenity of this solemn place.



Back at the state park, we visited the Sauer-Beckmann Farmstead, a living history farm dating back to the early 1900s. One of the Sauer children, Augusta Sauer Lindig, served as a midwife at the birth of President Johnson.



The chickens had already been cooped up for the night, but this brown-headed cowbird gave us greeting.



It was late in the day and most of the animals had already been fed and were taking their leisure. We didn't linger long here, the scene was peaceful, but the scent was not.



The scent and beauty of the Mock Orange, however, was the perfect way to end our day! Scratch-and-sniff ?




What are you seeing
through your lens this week?

Blessings,

Sharing inspiration here:
Nature Notes, Through My Lens, Little Things Thursdays,
Bird D’pot, Saturday’s Critters, Life thru the Lens, Wild Bird Wednesday,
Our World Tuesday, Community Global, Photo Friday

Friday, May 20, 2016

Inspired by . . . Psalm 134

I'm wrapping up my Psalms of ascent series and getting back on track with my posting schedule -that's the plan anyway!

As usual, God's word is perfect in timing and substance.
A Song of Ascents. Behold, bless the LORD, all you servants of the LORD, who stand by night in the house of the LORD! Lift up your hands to the holy place and bless the LORD! May the LORD bless you from Zion, He who made heaven and earth! (Psa 134:1-3)
As this psalm suggests, even those who watch diligently over the house of the Lord day and night need a reminder to lift up their hands and praise His holy name. 

In this, the final psalm of ascents, the pilgrims have finally reached their destination - Jerusalem! They had been singing of His faithfulness during their long journey and they were now ready to worship and praise Him in the temple!

I wonder, did they find the night-watchmen sleeping? Or had the watchmen just grown bored? 

The pilgrims are neither bored nor sleeping. They cry out, filled with joy, "Behold! Raise your hands! Bless the Lord!" and then they pronounce a blessing upon the Lord's servants, "May the Lord bless you."



I wonder if our worship has become a bit mundane? A trifle bored? Are we beginning to see God as ordinary? rather than seeing His wondrous works IN the ordinary?

There's no doubt the cares of this world can weigh us down. Especially when we try to carry them ourselves. We weren't made to do that, friend.

Hand them over, those heavy trials, give them up. 

Surrender. 

Take on the easy yoke. Close your weary eyes and rest in Him. Trusting Him to renew your spirit.

Then, walk forth in the JOY of your salvation. See Him as He really is - in all His wonder and glory - with freshly opened eyes.




Behold! and praise Him!

Shalom,


Sharing inspiration here:
Small WondersTestimony Tuesday, #TellHisStory,
Thought Provoking Thursday, Grace & Truth, Let Us Walk Worthy,
Inspire Me Monday, RaRa Link Up, Intentional Tuesday,
#WordswithWinter, Titus 2 Tuesday, Thoughtful Thursdays,
Encourage Me Monday, Wholehearted Wednesday,
Women with Intention Wednesdays, Word Filled Wednesday,
#GiveMeGrace, Sitting Among Friends