Feeling like Jupiter

The planet Jupiter’s iconic red spot is actually a storm of monumental proportions. This red spot has become a distinguishing characteristic for children trying to identify planets. Imagine three Earth’s put together….that’s how big this storm is. Furthermore, it’s been raging for hundreds of years with winds that reach 425 miles per hour!!

In 1969, Camille, a category 5 hurricane brought 190 mile per hour sustained winds when it made landfall in Mississippi. And who can forget 2005 when Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast states with winds reaching 174 miles per hour.  Just days ago, Hurricane Florence hit our Southern East Coast with wind gusts up to 105 miles per hour.

These furious winds, combined with atmospheric pressure changes, force the ocean to rise beyond its borders creating what we call storm surge.  This results in devastating and destructive flooding. These catastrophic storms are deadly and costly, but thank God they do not last for hundreds of years like Jupiter’s red spot.

Over the years many scientists have pondered not only the size of the red spot, but they are curious as to why this storm hasn’t fizzled out after a few centuries. From start to finish, the average hurricanes here on Earth are measure by hours or days.

Hurricanes always form over the sea, and take days to develop, and grow in size and strength. The warm moisture from the ocean actually fuels the storm. So what eventually stops the hurricane? Without fail, the moment it makes landfall, the storm begins to degrade and lose momentum because it has lost its fuel. Secondly, the solid ground creates friction, further compromising the storm’s structure. Conditions become unfavorable for the storm. Simply put, it falls apart, and will soon come to an end.

Solid ground! That’s the answer! That’s the reason Jupiter’s storm has been raging for centuries. Jupiter: this giant ball of gas, has no solid ground and no defense against the raging storm.

Thank God that HE is our Solid Rock! He is our defense and safe place!

The Lord is my solid rock, my fortress, my rescuer. My God is my rock—I take refuge in Him!—He’s my shield, my salvation’s strength, my place of safety.” Psalm 18: 2 ceb

He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along.” Psalm 40:2 nlt

He’s solid rock under my feet, breathing room for my soul, An impregnable castle: I’m set for life. My help and glory are in God —granite-strength and safe-harbor-God—So trust him absolutely, people; lay your lives on the line for Him. God is a safe place to be.” Psalm 62:6-8 msg

Are you feeling a bit like Jupiter?  You may be weary from the storm, and your flesh and your heart may fail….. but God will be your Rock and He will give you strength….. always.  (Psalm 73:26 ampc)

Draw near to God (your solid ground), and He will draw near to you, and the pressures of your storm will dissipate. “He will heal your broken heart and He will bind your wounds!” (Psalm147:3)

I thank God that He is our firm foundation, and our solid ground! He makes our storms fall apart!

On The Way To The Trashcan

“I’m all done,” said three year old Stella, referring to the partially eaten school lunch in her hand. She stands up to leave the table. Grabbing her plate, she starts walking over to the trash can but does something odd…..she continues to eat food from her plate. All the while she slowly walks to the trashcan.  “But I thought you were done,” I laughed to myself. That’s when it hit me.

Don’t WE do the same thing? We say, “I’m all done” what that bad habit….that addiction…..that negative talk……that unhealthy lifestyle.  “I’m all done” with fear and insecurities. “I’m all done!!!”  All the while we continue to partake or participate or engage in the very thing we are trying to dispose of from our lives.

Oh that we should be patient with one another as those around us make attempts to turn over a new leaf: saying I’m all done, yet succumbing to it one more time. Even more, we should be patient with ourselves.

We need to forgive the failed attempts, and encourage that long slow walk to the trash can! Hebrews 12:1 tells us “. . . We must get rid of everything that slows us down, especially sin that distracts us, and run the race that lies ahead of us and NEVER GIVE UP!”

Making life changes can be immediate for some, but most of the time it’s a process. In other words, THE STRUGGLE IS REAL! Don’t be quick to judge yourself or others. Mom & Dad, don’t be so harsh on your children as they struggle to make the right choices. God has equipped us to turn over a new leaf…….as many times as it takes us to get it right.

We can do all things through Christ because He gives us strength, because he wants us to succeed, and because He has good plans for our lives.  He is patient and kind to forgive our failed attempts, and He extends to us the power of His grace. Furthermore, He says to you…..NEVER GIVE UP!

I Thessalonians 5:11 Encourage & build each other up

Ephesians 4:29  Don’t say hurtful things to each other. Find something good to say & help when you can

Galatians 6:2 Share each other’s troubles & burdens

Hebrews 10:24-25  Come up with ideas to stir up love & do good things; be encouraging

I Peter 4:8-10 Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love makes up for many of your faults. . . God has given each of you some special abilities; be sure to use them to help each other, passing on to others God’s many kinds of blessings.

 

What I Say Matters

Because he bends down and listens, I will pray as long as I breathe!” Psalm 116:2 tlb

We had gone out to supper at a nice restaurant, with a pretty nice 45 minute wait. While waiting, a shadow caught my eye of someone  s-l-o-w-l-y walking toward the waiting area.  The shadow looked to be that  of an elderly person with a severely hunched back. I was already feeling sorry for this individual.

Then, the shadowy figure came into the light and I saw a father walking with his young son. This tall man was hunched over with arms around his son; and walking ever so slowly as to hang on his every word.

What could an 8 or 9 year old boy have to say to his father that is so captivating, as to garner such undivided attention in a busy restaurant? What can WE say to our Father that would garner His undivided attention?  The answer: SAY ANYTHING! SAY EVERYTHING!

Because he bends down and listens, I will pray as long as I breathe!” Psalm 116:2 tlb

Picturing this father and son is a great first step toward changing our image of, and our idea of who we THINK God is…………………furthermore, it’s a great first step in changing our idea of how we THINK God relates to us.

Simply put, God loves us, and He is eager to bend down His ear to listen to what we have to say. Never again let the enemy tell you that you are not important, and that what you have to say doesn’t matter. This scripture tells us differently. We are His sons and daughters.

 

Decisions, Decisions!

My co-worker asked me to her home one day after work. We both hop in my car, but only one of us knows where we are going, and it isn’t me. Yet, I’m the one behind the wheel. Without her telling me every turn to make, I would have been lost and the destination would not be reached.

So it is in our everyday Christian walk. We are behind the drivers wheel but the Holy Spirit gives us directions.

“Your own ears will hear him. Right behind you a voice will say, “This is the way you should go, whether to the right or to the left.” Isaiah 31:21 nlt

Imagine what might have happened if……I ignored my co-worker’s directions, or I cut the radio up so loud I drowned her out? What if I thought she was just offering me “suggestions,” and that I had a much better route?

These questions make us all think about how we respond to, and interact with the Holy Spirit. What is He telling us, and will we listen?

He has a purpose for our lives, and a destination in mind. Trust in His Word…..”Your own ears will hear Him….” He will NOT steer us in the wrong direction.

The Anchor For My Soul

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This WWII anchor of the Battleship NC weighs 25,883 pounds!!! It’s huge! Just seeing my husband and daughter standing beside it, gives you an idea of just how huge this anchor really is. The Bible tells us that Jesus is the anchor of our soul (Hebrews 6:19). As my family and I continued the tour, Hebrews 6:19 began to mingle with snippets from that old hymn: “In Times Like these” written by Ruth Caye Jones during WWII.

In times like these, you need a Savior,

In times like these, you need an anchor;

Be very sure, be very sure,

Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!

In simple terms, we all know that the purpose of an anchor is to keep the vessel from drifting, to provide a stable place for navigation. This is what Jesus does for us: He keeps us from going astray… from drifting away from our purpose in life. When the rough seas of life toss you around like a rag doll trying to get you of course, Jesus is there to keep you steady!

The anchor for the Battleship NC was impressive, but the anchor chain was even more impressive.

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Dropping the ships anchor is useless if isn’t connected to the ship!

WE NEED A CONNECTION TO JESUS….OUR ANCHOR! We need a relationship with Him.

Romans 10:13 tells us that when we call on the Name of the Lord we will be saved. It’s that simple.

We’ve all heard that phrase, “I’ll be with you to the bitter end.”  Interestingly I learned that phrase has nautical origins. One end of the chain is connected to the anchor. One end is connected to ships “bitts” or posts. Sometimes, red scarves would be tied to the chains last links.  If those red scarves became visible when dropping anchor, the sailor knew he had reached the “Bitter End.” Jesus will be with us to the bitter end. He is true to His promise to never leave us! Let Jesus be the anchor for your soul!!

 

 

He is Thinking About You

“How precious it is, Lord, to realize that YOU are thinking about me constantly! I can’t even count how many times a day your thoughts turn toward me. And when I waken in the morning, you are still thinking of me!” Psalm 139:17-18 tlb

What a beautiful scripture! Let this sink in. Take a moment right now to realize that God IS Thinking about you today!!! You’re not just a social security number. You have a name! And God called you by your name. He knows the number of hairs on your head, and He is thinking about you and loving you today! You are NOT forgotten!!

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11 nkjv

If the Creator of this universe and the Savior of this world thinks about you …….you are special and treasured beyond imagination. Don’t let the enemy convince you that God has abandoned you as a hopeless cause. This is simply not true.  Today and everyday, God thinks about you…..loves you…..forgives you……showers you with mercy and grace.

Today I pray that “you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love is.” Ephesians 3:18 nlt

 

What Are We “Singing?”

I had punched out for my lunch break, and was walking across the parking lot when something caught my attention on the sidewalk. A lady had in her earbuds and singing loudly and proudly to the song she alone could hear.  Yet, the guy walking with her, who did not have any earbuds, was singing her song.

Each one of us influences those around us. Whatever we are listening to, we will “sing,” and those around us will be influenced by our song. There are many people in this world, in your families, and even in our churches who are not hearing directly from God Himself; but they ARE hearing His voice indirectly from others who are plugged in and tuned in to God’s channel.

What are we “singing?” What will others hear?

Think about that. I want to be a conduit for others to connect with what God is downloading into me, until they can learn to hear from God themselves.

Just like this man began singing a song that he was hearing second hand, he still sang it loud and proud right along side her even though SHE was the source of music for him. Sometimes, WE are the only God source that people will ever hear.

This is a great reminder to stay tuned into The Source of Life so that we are “singing” Godly influences over those around us.

In other words,  “Follow my example as I follow the example of Christ” I Corinthians 11:1.