A Picture Perspective

I love the lessons God sends through ordinary things.  I have often wanted to write about perspective – how we view what is happening in our little piece of the world.  We have had a heightened sense of different perspective the last few months.  Data can be interpreted more than one way.  Opinions are strong and sometimes confused with facts.  Merriam-Webster’s dictionary gives the following definition (it is #2 on their list): “belief stronger than impression and less strong than positive knowledge.”  An opinion is a viewpoint.  I know that many people seek to base their opinion in fact, but the truth is none of us will know everything.  We will also not know what we are missing.  We don’t know what we don’t know.

My featured image in this post has two pictures of the same tulips taken from two different angles.  The pictures were taken the same day, within a few seconds of each other.  From one angle the tulips look like they are 6 inches apart.  The other picture looks like one is right in front of the other.  The truth?  The flowers were 6 inches apart.  I looked at them several times while they were blooming. I have dozens of pictures (they are special tulips).

We will never know everything.  Only God knows everything.   How can we know if we have a proper perspective?  By pleading in prayer.  James 1:5 tells us that if we ask God for wisdom (not just knowledge, but wisdom), He will give freely.  Godly wisdom is the only way to work through the plethora of information bombarding us these days.  We can navigate the maze a whole lot better when we have God’s wisdom guiding us.  God will never lead us astray.  We do that on our own.

How do we work through interacting with others whose perspective is different than ours? With humility, gentleness, patience and love.  As I humble myself in prayer God will guide me through the sometimes turbulent waters of relationships.  He will give me what I need to manage.

Dear Heavenly Father, we have so much hurt right now.  We need humility, gentleness, patience and love. Thank you that Jesus gave us the perfect example of this behavior.  Please help me to live this way to Your honor and glory.  I want to serve You effectively.  

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

Notice the Blessings

I am thankful to see a little bit better news these days, although sadly much negativity is still circulating.  The reality is that bad things will happen.  We live in a sin cursed earth (read the book of Genesis to see the origins of that).  However, even though we see ugly, hard things around us there are many blessings. 

I have heard a saying, “Blessings come to those who notice.” There is Biblical truth in those words.  We can get too focused on the negative and miss the positive.  I’m not saying that we pretend the bad things never happen, but I think we need help to keep a proper perspective.

I love to tell storiespositive storiesstories of blessing.  I have told several in my blog.  God sent me some more this week.  The picture behind Psalm 34:8 was sent to me by a friend who was thinking of me.  #heartwarming!  Another day I saw a friend at the grocery store.  I had a big grin on my face as I waved through the window to get her attention.  We talked for a few minutes. I was smiling for a while after our conversation (especially when she waved at me at the next store).  That evening God painted the sky yellow, orange and pink as the sun was going down.  I love the beauty of sunset.  All of these happenings were hugs from God – blessings God sent my way. 

I am still processing the negative things that God allowed in my life this week.  He is using those to perfect me (James 1:2-4).  However, I want to notice and claim God’s goodness to get me through each day.  Blessings hold great power when we allow God to work.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for the blessing you send my way: friends who know and love You, all the beauty in Your creation.  Please help me to keep a proper focus on the blessings in my life and encourage others to do the same.  Please give me the strength to view the challenges correctly and not let them weigh me down.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

Wait for God’s Timing. Trust God’s Timing.

Another week has come and gone with the usual bruises that go with the challenges of life. As I process the circumstances in my little piece of the world, I found myself drawn to a couple of statements posted on Facebook.  One reminded me that God’s timing is always trustworthy.  The other reminds me of God’s control over and through difficult circumstances.  As I looked for a verse to use in today’s blog, the YouVersion Bible app had Psalm 27:14 as today’s verse of the day. 

I’m not a big fan of waiting.  I would rather keep moving.  Maybe not as fast as the waterfall in the picture my friend sent to me, but at least moving.  However, sometimes God asks us to wait.  His timing is perfect.  He has a plan and will bring it about His way, in His time.  God IS in control, even when life seems out of control.  When I don’t see how things are going to work out…when I start to worry about the big and little things in my life, I need to stop and go to God.  Talking to Him in prayer will help me to be strong and allow me to take courage as I wait on God.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for always being available.  Thank You for providing the way to have courage.  I claim Your promise to promise to provide courage.  Please help me to wait on You and Your timing for all the details of my life.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

Tripping over Differences

I expect that most of my readers are those who share my faith in Jesus Christ.  We claim to have the Bible as our foundation.  Over the last several weeks, I have been concerned about the many things we throw out on social media.  I don’t object to looking at various news articles or watching videos with different perspectives.  I have learned and benefited by seeing different points of view.  I think we need to share the hurts of others and seek to show comfort.  I shared last week how I want to help make a difference.  The problem with making a difference is that we are all different and don’t readily agree on what is needed.  Those of us who claim to serve Jesus Christ have a book (called the Bible) to remind us how to help. 

Ephesians 4:2 gives us a list: humility, gentleness, patience, love.  I find the first 4 the hardest when tensions are high, and I feel backed into a corner. Do you? 

I am thankful for God teaching me about prayer.  The more I pray, the more I am willing and able to live humbly, gently, patiently and show love.  Pray is a powerful tool when we understand that God is the power behind the tool.

Dear Heavenly Father, we are weary of the ugliness we have seen.  We have tripped trying to navigate the challenges.  Please help us to live Your way – to make a true difference.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.