Up from the Ashes

In the midst of the pain and loss a seed is found – life will move forward, life will spring forth, life will be green again as it rises up from the ashes.

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I often ponder the parallels found in the truths of scripture shown through the natural and spiritual. Many such, have been in the forefront this year.

As last spring began, the lush tall forest trees of the west coast stood strong and vibrant, never knowing what the next season would bring. Spring soon led into a scorching summer as flames consumed over 8 million acres that now lay in ashes – those same lush forests destroyed.

An interesting fact occurs in the midst of forest fires – the seeds of life are spared, hidden and protected – they are surrounded by a hard safe shell that allows them to spread, land and in the midst of the nutrient ash – in time – they will bring forth life. Seedlings of life will begin to turn the black and gray colored hills and mountains into soft green life.

These last 6 months have left much in ashes across our country. Thousands of lives will never be the same due to floods, fires, and hurricanes but also from accidents, drugs, suicides and disease. They too, never expected to have their lives lay at their feet in ashes.

However, strength and new life will arise. If the ash lies at your feet it doesn’t look or feel possible, but somewhere deep inside faith stirs, then rises up to keep moving forward. Somehow that seed of faith has been hidden and protected. In the midst of the pain and loss a seed is found – life will move forward, life will spring forth, life will be green again as it rises up from the ashes.

In the midst of the ashes believe that Jesus has a plan – a protected, hidden seed within you. Your story is not over – trust in your Heavenly Father. He loves you, never leaves you, walks with you, is faithful and good all the time. Trust Him to bring life up from the ashes.

Is 61:2b-3 He has sent me to comfort those who are sad, those in Zion who mourn. I will take away the ashes on their head, and I will give them a crown. I will take away their sadness, and I will give them the oil of happiness. I will take away their sorrow, and I will give them celebration clothes. He sent me to name them ‘Good Trees’ and ‘The Lord’s Wonderful Plant.’(ERV)

Psalm 30:11 Then he turned my sorrow into joy! He took away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy. (TLB)

The Sounds of Summer

Tuning your spiritual ears to hear the very whisper of the Holy Spirit requires a deep place of contentment to rise from within. This contentment comes as you willingly choose to listen.

Wildlife *JKSWL049 (Resting In HIS Provision)

     Our senses play a large part in how we experience things in our lives. Summer explodes with sounds that create lasting life memories. Summer erupts on the scene with the sound of chirping birds, buzzing bees, scurrying rabbits and squirrels. With it begins to stir anticipation of new life as summer unfolds.

     As we listen we hear the contagious joyful laughter of children, the clicking metallic sound of a sprinkler that delivers life-giving water to foliage, as well as the gurgle of streams and the crash of waves.

     These sounds are only enjoyed if we listen and respond. If the busy activity of life overtakes our thoughts we can miss the enjoyment provided by these gifts of summer.

     Sound can come in thunderous explosions or in the slightest whisper. One is heard and felt – easily not missed. The other – is missed by most.

     Tuning your spiritual ears to hear the very whisper of the Holy Spirit requires a deep place of contentment to rise from within. This contentment comes as you willingly choose to listen.

     As you surrender your busyness in exchange for His plans you will step into a life that He directs. When you consistently spend time in His presence with a cry of “less of me and more of you” the listening process unfolds. These decisions will allow you to begin a journey of His direction – one that will contentedly produce a courageous life full of faith.

     Listening and responding in your spiritual life is often missed or lost because of distractions. Taking time to stop and listen to what the Holy Spirit speaks to you through the direction of Christ – requires time where you choose to stop and sit at the feet of Jesus.

     Choose today the ONE THING that is important – to sit at the feet of your Lord. Then you will truly enjoy the gift of sound – hearing Him call your name!

Isaiah 43:1 But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I Have called you by name, you are mine. (ESV)

 

 

(Revised from Summers Stirring of Our Senses – The Gift of Sound  Summer’s Delight Majestic Reflection Devotional Series-Book 3 J.K.Sanchez 2015)

Walking Between Belief and Faith

As we listen to the Holy Spirit, are directed and encouraged, it then only takes a tiny bit of faith to say YES LORD. Then we take full flight in all HE has created us to be and begin to fly higher and sing boldly of the greatness of our Lord.

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It’s spring and the birds are busy with preparation for the new life within their nests. Each step for those little lives requires a physical adjustment.

They find strength within to begin the pecking process to come into the world, if they never worked at pecking that shell, they would die.

Once they break free from the protective shell they must be fed from parents. They can believe and expect that food but unless they have the faith to open their little beaks to receive it, they will die.

As they grow stronger, and fuzz becomes feathers they must then take another big step of faith. They have seen mommy fly in and out of the nest, but just peaking over the edge is a scary thing. They get encouraged and nudged by mommy but believing still isn’t enough; they must have the faith to step over the edge, free fall and lift off. If they choose to stay in the nest, they will eventually die.

Once the flight ability occurs they still have much to learn, and each step in the growth process requires belief in what is being taught to them as well as faith to step out and do it. But, once they do- oh, what a beautiful world they have to enjoy. They fly higher and sing boldly of the greatness of creation.

The whole process takes a short time but is one of walking between belief and faith.

II Cor. 5:7 for we walk by faith, not sight

Spiritually we too live a life walking between belief and faith. We can walk a life full of believing in the Bible, in who God is and what Jesus did for us. But, somewhere faith must begin to churn inside where belief changes and faith emerges. This faith begins pushing us to step into a place where we take the step over the edge, free fall and lift off. It is here that the transformation of the blood of Christ changes us to BE HIS representative in the earth. As we listen to the Holy Spirit, are directed and encouraged, it then only takes a tiny bit of faith to say YES LORD. Then we take full flight in all HE has created us to be and begin to fly higher and sing boldly of the greatness of our Lord.

Let’s join our feathered friends – step out, free fall and lift off to higher places.

I Thess. 5:24 He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.