Lawful Yet Not Profitable 

Just because something is technically legal doesn’t mean that it’s spiritually appropriate. If I went around doing whatever I thought I could get by with, I’d be a slave to my whims. You know the old saying, “First you eat to live, and then you live to eat”? Well, it may be true that the body is only a temporary thing, but that’s no excuse for stuffing your body with food, or indulging it with sex. Since the Master honors you with a body, honor him with your body! God honored the Master’s body by raising it from the grave. He’ll treat yours with the same resurrection power. Until that time, remember that your bodies are created with the same dignity as the Master’s body. You wouldn’t take the Master’s body off to a whorehouse, would you? I should hope not. 1 Corinthians 6:12‭-‬15 MSG

If this isn’t a motivational, in your face truth, far from being sugar-coated, love-you-with-all-my-heart set of life giving words inspired by the Father then I don’t know what is.
Wow.

 

The daily devotional I am reading called Soul Detox can be found on YouVersion if you care to take a look at it. While I normally read in the NKJV,  I do like to read what other versions say. The Message version above can’t get any more simple to understand.

The Apostle Paul writes that everything is permissible for him but not helpful or profitable. Let’s put it this way. Just because something is made available to us it doesn’t mean that it’s for us. The Lord will not be down our throats every second saying “yay or nay ” or “Hmm…. do you really think you should be eating this or doing that”. We should use wisdom in all that we do. This is a choice that we have. All things are lawful but are not edifying.
We have what’s called God’s “permissible will”. Do we just want to get by with that or are we seeking His perfect will? I personally want to honor the Lord with my body and my thinking. The Bible tells us:For as he thinks in his heart, so is he [in behavior–one who manipulates]. He says to you, “Eat and drink,” Yet his heart is not with you [but it is begrudging the cost]. Proverbs  23:7 AMP

Today I implore you to count the cost. For whatever it may be realize that there is a consequence behind it. I thank the Holy Spirit for placing this word upon my heart to share with you. I pray that you take it into account. My heart is for you and your well-being in Christ as it is for myself to live a life that’s pleasing and honorable before the Lord.

Be encouraged, blessed and stay  prayed up as you go into you day. Allow the Lord to order your steps. Invite the Holy Spirit to lead, guide and direct you in all that you think, say and do.

I love you but Jesus loves you more. He wants the best for you. ❤

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Birth, Blessings, Wisdom & Friendship 

​For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as  yet  there  were none of them. How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand; When I awake, I am still with You. Psalms 139:13-18 NKJV

Two days ago was my birthday. Yup. September 6th… 

Another day to be a little wiser, a little stronger, more loving and thankful. Another day to live the life created for me by my heavenly Father. 

Staying awake until midnight to pray and thank the Father for many things before catching some zzz’s, a peace came over me as I pondered about this life of mine. Getting older and growing wiser isn’t a bad thing. In society we tend to focus on particular numbers when we celebrate a birthday and anniversary but what’s really wrong with the in between numbers?

Nothing. Nothing at all. 

Life can pass us by if we wait to have celebratory times to cherish based upon a particular year or age to do so. What if that day never comes? I pose this question because of a comment made to me. Not that I took offense to it but it just made me think.

“Why not celebrate where I am in life, why not make a big deal to be age __?” 

My Father has counted every hair on my head and has ordered my steps before my life came to be so why not celebrate today each day that I’m given because tomorrow isn’t promised to no one.

Just think about that for a minute.

As a believer and lover of Christ Jesus my Lord and Savior my life is not my own. It is He who lives within me. I am to live this life for Him, to love others and be a light. I’m a wife, mother, daughter and friend. I want my days on this Earth to reflect my life in Him.
Am I living to my fullest potential? Are you? Some of us may feel or believe that we are at the peak of success or have reached a plateau or even still climbing from the bottom but what does it really matter if it’s not done in Christ giving glory and honor and loving with all of our heart, mind, body, soul and strength. What has one hand extended to do for another in His name that wasn’t about you? I have asked myself these questions just as well. 

Daily I desire to be all that I can be in Jesus. I work some days with more emphasis than others but my goal.. my mindset is set on reaching hearts for Him all across the globe. It’s set on being an obedient daughter of His, the wife, mother, neighbor and friend who models the life of the One who chose me and gave me life. Not just my earthly life but most importantly my spiritual life for without Him I am nothing. I am ineffective. I’m suppose to be the hands and feet of Jesus. So when I leave this world at whatever age that may be I pray that what I have left behind is a life worthy of Him that others will want to live the same. 

I’m not here to follow the ways of the world and place a higher regard to what society thinks and feels. This life has a constant measure that changes like a shifting of the wind. The emotions of humans sway one moment to the next. One thing is valued more than the other. It’s not like that with God my Father. His weights and scales are not the same. What’s important to Him is not on the same level of us. 

With that said  I want to see with His eyes, love like Him, allow what’s important to Him to be important to me. Yes life will throw curve balls but I want to celebrate my life in the now, rejoice in the fact, the known Truth that He got me. There’s nothing that comes my way that the Lord has not already taken care of. So I thank Him for the years I’ve seen so far, the wisdom gained, the blessings given and the friendships along the way that steer me in the right direction. 

I encourage you to live and love your life today. Celebrate the husband/wife/children you have been given. You are here today. There is a reason for it. Those ‘golden years’ that society has deemed a day of celebration or that year that it’s okay to party it up because your the age __ may never come. Life can be golden now. Today. Simply because you have Jesus. 

Today the Father has blessed you with life, given you the Son that’s the best gift ever and the Holy Spirit to lead and guide you through this life. Nothing can be more grand. 

God bless you on your path. Be thankful along the way for He’s been good to you more than you’ll ever realize. 

Wellspring of Wisdom 

Photo credit: Divine Creations Photography/self

Understanding is a wellspring of life to him who has it. But the correction of fools is folly. Proverbs 16:22 NKJV

We all need counseling whether we think we do or not. The Living Word is filled with thought provoking messages to us. 

Question is will we listen. The Book of Proverbs gives us many insightful lessons to gainfully understand and learn that are worth applying to our daily living. 

Are you willing to draw out the counseling that lies within the heart? To overlook it will only hurt you in the long run. It’s not worth learning after the fact. It’s not that someone will need to say ‘I told you so’ in order to bring you shame but to let you know that wisdom has its purpose and that they’ve  learned some things along the way. 

Don’t run from wise Biblical counseling. The truth may be uncomfortable at first because the flesh and the carnal mind does not want to align with it but I can tell you first hand that the Lord knows what He’s talking about. 

This wellspring of Wisdom continues to flow. It never ends and will bring the light of life into you each day as you seek to follow it. 

Encourage and strengthen your heart always in Christ Jesus. Allow Him to take you into the deep. Live and learn to the fullest. 

Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; Teach a just man,  and he will increase in learning. “The fear of the Lord  is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. For by me your days will be multiplied, And years of life will be added to you. Proverbs 9:9‭-‬11 NKJV

Wonders of Our Creator 

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Photo credit: self/Divine Creations Photography

*This post was first shared on my photography blog Divine Creations Photography 

The  Lord God made everything upon the face of the earth with such thoughtfulness, love and care within a matter of days. Can you believe how such creatures are made knowing that many are out there so different and yet the same to some extent?
I don’t know what type of moth this is but it decided to come rest on my front porch as I take in the Word and spend time with the Lord.

It’s a wonder… isn’t it? So pretty in color and quite interesting to look at up close.

Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth the living creature according to its kind: cattle and creeping thing and beast of the earth, each according to its kind”; and it was so. And God made the beast of the earth according to its kind, cattle according to its kind, and everything that creeps on the earth according to its kind. And God saw that it  was good. Genesis 1:24‭-‬25 NKJV

Now when it comes to us.. we were created in His image. Wow. There’s something to that. Just think about it.

Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Genesis 1:26‭-‬27 NKJV

The Father had a plan and a purpose with you in mind. To think of all the creatures and beast of earth that reside on land and in the water that He made with such precision, I would like for you to think just how much more work was put in creating us.
He’s a good good Father, Creator and Master Designer. Yes He is!

They (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) love us, they love us, THEY LOVE US! We were known before we were created. When you and I were thought of to be made in Their image there were no leftover ideas scrapped in the corner somewhere up in heaven to design us. No way!

How you look and how I look are made perfect in Him. Take delight in that. There’s no need for correcting His perfection. You are a work of art placed on this earth that is priceless. So when you look in the mirror today, tell the Lord Thank You for making me to look like You. It doesn’t matter what the world says based on the lies of the enemy. If the animal kingdom could talk, I wonder if they would bother concerning themselves with comparison to one another.

My thoughts for you today is to take in the wonders of God all around you and count it joy that you are one of them! Be blessed and encouraged this day dear hearts.

The Treasures of Wisdom

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I love those who love me, And those who seek me diligently will find me.“The  Lord possessed me at the beginning of His way, Before His works of old. I have been established from everlasting, From the beginning, before there was ever an earth. When there  were no depths I was brought forth, When there  were no fountains abounding with water. Before the mountains were settled, Before the hills, I was brought forth; While as yet He had not made the earth or the fields, Or the primal dust of the world. When He prepared the heavens, I was there, When He drew a circle on the face of the deep, When He established the clouds above, When He strengthened the fountains of the deep, When He assigned to the sea its limit, So that the waters would not transgress His command, When He marked out the foundations of the earth, Then I was beside Him as a master craftsman; And I was daily His delight, Rejoicing always before Him, Rejoicing in His inhabited world, And my delight was with the sons of men.“Now therefore, listen to me, my children, For blessed are  those  who keep my ways. Hear instruction and be wise, And do not disdain it. Blessed is the man who listens to me, Watching daily at my gates, Waiting at the posts of my doors. For whoever finds me finds life, And obtains favor from the Lord ; But he who sins against me wrongs his own soul; All those who hate me love death.”(Proverbs 8:17‭, ‬22‭-‬36 NKJV)

A few days ago I was reading this chapter in the Book of Proverbs and I was totally drawn in.

Wisdom is far better than anything we desire or obtain. No riches, fame or glory can compare. That’s something deep to ponder. Just think about that for a moment.

Nothing is greater to have than wisdom. It can save us from many disasters that can be avoided. It can also bless us in ways we would not even expect. Anything is possible with the Lord when just adhere to his truths and ways . King Solomon asked for wisdom when the Lord appeared to him in a dream.

At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night; and God said, “Ask! What shall I give you?” And Solomon said: “You have shown great mercy to Your servant David my father, because he walked before You in truth, in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with You; You have continued this great kindness for him, and You have given him a son to sit on his throne, as it  is this day. Now, O Lord my God, You have made Your servant king instead of my father David, but I am a little child; I do not know how  to go out or come in. And Your servant is in the midst of Your people whom You have chosen, a great people, too numerous to be numbered or counted. Therefore give to Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people, that I may discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?” The speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing. Then God said to him: “Because you have asked this thing, and have not asked long life for yourself, nor have asked riches for yourself, nor have asked the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern justice, behold, I have done according to your words; see, I have given you a wise and understanding heart, so that there has not been anyone like you before you, nor shall any like you arise after you. And I have also given you what you have not asked: both riches and honor, so that there shall not be anyone like you among the kings all your days. So if you walk in My ways, to keep My statutes and My commandments, as your father David walked, then I will lengthen your days.” (I Kings 3:5‭-‬14 NKJV)

C’mon now… he was just a kid! And he asked for wisdom?!! Just look at what the Lord did in his life. He gave him wisdom and some. A lot of it actually.

Who wouldn’t want godly wisdom? Well a foolish person wouldn’t of course. But really, who would not want wisdom. I personally asked the Lord for it. Not that I would obtain riches or anything but that I would have a mindset to live right, make decisions that were pleasing to Him, to be help to others any way that I could. It’s not about me. It’s about Him and I can’t see any other reason behind desiring to have it.

In the book of James he says: If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.( James 1:5‭-‬8 ESV)

Stated in the passage above in Proverbs, Wisdom was already present before the world was formed. “The  Lord possessed me at the beginning of His way, Before His works of old. I have been established from everlasting, From the beginning, before there was ever an earth. Proverbs 8:22‭-‬23 NKJV

Are we making a connection here? Knowing what we know about the Father and what He had done with all that our minds can comprehend, wisdom existed. It already was! God had a master plan and his blueprints were ready to be put into motion. With that said, we have some pretty serious stuff going on. We have something to work with that’s worthwhile because it comes from above. This is godly wisdom. Not earthly. It’s already been approved by God to pass on to us if we desire to have it.

The Word tells to not be wise in our own eyes. (Proverbs 3:7, Romans 12:16) There is nothing profitable in worldly wisdom compared to what the Lord offers us. In this human flesh we reside in, the carnal thoughts that become lofty thinking that we know it all it can actually get us into trouble. We were born into sin and our flesh desires to do the opposite of the Spirit so we have to pray and fight and desire to do what right and holy.

Look at this:Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight.(Isaiah 5:21 NIV)

When we start looking, examining and giving birth to worldly wisdom and taking our eyes off of what is right in the eyes of God we are setting ourselves up for trouble. Remember that the devil comes as an angel of light. He can make things appear like they are glitter and gold. Now I’m not blaming him for everything but what I am saying is that when we are not walking in the way of the Lord through his eyes and understanding, we give a foothold to the enemy to blind us to true wisdom that is from above. It’s not temporary. It’s everlasting from one generation to the next.

Thought I’d just share some thoughts on wisdom and my daily need of it for on this life journey of mine, I walk and stand in desperate need of Jesus. Dying to the flesh, dying to my way of thinking, knowing and understanding keeps me at the feet of the Savior.

He saved ME and he saved YOU. Let us not get it twisted for we can never ever save ourselves.

Choose today Wisdom that produces good fruit in your life. Look to the Lord for all your help, desires and needs. Watch, wait and see for He will provide.

If you have the YouVersion app on your smartphone take a look at this devotional that I am currently doing. It has given me a lot to think about lately and to put into effect. God bless…

*you can download the app on your PC as well

Friends to the End? Devoting Oneself Through Thick & Thin

♡ ♡ Friends come and friends go, but a true friend sticks by you like family. (Proverbs 18:24 MS)

I LOVE this version stated above. Simple and yet profound for these days and times.

 
♡ A man who  has friends must himself be friendly, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.(Proverbs 18:24 NKJV)

♡ One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.(Proverbs 18:24 NIV)

Not often will we find true friendships. Ones that last, that stick it out through the the good, bad and ugly. (unless the Lord removes them for a reason)

The Lord Himself has proven time and time again to be my Friend to the End. He’s the only one that has not left me. (or you) We, on the other hand leave him for one reason or another only to find and return, I pray that He’s faithful and puts our best interest at heart. The entire Trinity does. Father. Son. Holy Spirit.

 
Now I can attest to a few people in my life being all that they are suppose to be, all that they strive to be as my friend and showing the characteristics of a friend. Have I in turn done that with my all? Not so much.

 
Can you relate one way or another?

My childhood best friend has really been more like a sister. Boy have we had our ups and downs but we came back together. Some days longer than others. We’ve known each other and have grown up and matured together over the years. 

Now there is one particular friend I’d like to shed light on. Her name is Shenine. She’s my friend (really good friend) of adulthood that I can compare to of having the likings of David and Jonathan as well as Paul and Barnabas from the Bible. 
The heart and given word of her friendship has stood the test of the weathery seasons…separation due to the military as we have both gone through, emotional hills and valleys and yet she has not changed unlike me. It has taken some hard knocks upside my head to truly see and accept that she’s a friend to the end. 

Patient like it’s nobody’s business to put up with my ways. (God bless her! She’s one of a kind)
I speak this of her and my other friend. This does not make them weak at all if some would think it but they have both shown me things along the way during many seasons of my life. Like Jesus, their patience was loving and kind.

 
One thing I can say about Shenine is that she didn’t give up. She saw things in me that I didn’t see in myself, had belief in friendships sticking together through the various weather conditions. Loved me like family. Just thinking back to how we met some years ago and connected was a blessing in itself. She has shown verbally and physically to be a friend. She has always gone the distance.

I am learning more and more how to be an adult friend because to be honest, I’ve never had an adult friend that stuck. Perhaps using the word acquaintance is more appropriate. I say this because living the military life as a soldier and a soldier’s wife people come and go due to moving every few years. Not to take away the companionship I had with them.. the friendship was just seasonal. That’s all.

 
I am simply thankful to the Lord for continually teaching me patience, teaching me to be the kind of friend that sticks closer than a brother. By His example this can be achieved in us if we are willing to learn, to let go of any superficial ways, past hurt from others or anything else that has stopped us from being all that we can be. 

My prayers are that you too will begin to be the friend you can be in Christ toward a fellow friend. It’s not often that we will cross paths with someone willing to give their all like my friend whom I share my heart and thoughts about. 

Reading about David and Jonathan through an post written on the the website for (in)courage really struck a cord within me. The more I read the more I realized that it was this special friend of mine. I never said a word to her about it. I am still allowing the essence of it along with some other readings I have been studying about wisdom to saturate my mind and heart.
 
My point in all of these sayings is to encourage you to hold on to those friendships that are near and dear. There is much value to the cost of it. There is a lot to gain from staying the course and honoring such a person in your life for you both have something to offer and gain from one another. Remember that Jesus is our Best Friend. The valuable lessons given to us in the Word will bring joy, peace, hope and a greater love and appreciation for Him and others when we show ourselves to be a loving friend in return. 

Friends to the end? Yes because anything in Christ is attainable so hang in there dear brothers and sisters of mine. Be encouraged, be a blessing through you friendships as you are encouraged and blessed. 

*Over the years I have seen Shenine grow and prosper in the Lord, through her life calling as a wife, mother, friend and businesswoman. Just see for yourself! Like her business, she is a Timeless Treasure 🌹 worth keeping around. God bless you, Shenine. With love, Terra 

Oh Deer!

The Lord God is my strength; He will make my feet like deer’s feet, And He will make me walk on my high hills. To the Chief Musician. With my stringed instruments. Habakkuk 3:19 NKJV

……….. yesterday was rough. The day before too. Geez.

Life will bring ups and downs. Things you see and hear can bring happiness or sadness to your heart.

As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God? 

Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.

Psalm 42:1‭-‬2‭, ‬5 NIV

Of course we are all for the good stuff. No one wants to feel pain, hurt or go through hardships but they ultimately work out for our good when we trust the Lord. We cannot always have sunny days expecting to see rainbows without a storm.
Oh but how faithful is God! He’s always with us. How blessed I feel when words, sights and wonders are shown to comfort my heart when I don’t understand or comprehend the actions of others. Now it’s not that I personally was affected ,but that my heart was hurting for innocent children and the lack of care by others regarding them.

I am thankful for being created in the image of God because the characteristic traits I have been given allows me to work as His hands and feet for those in need. I use to ask myself as a young girl why do I care so much or even why I cry or become bothered in my spirit when someone is hurting or suffering. No one else I seen acted like me/wore their heart on their sleeve/gave two bits about how others were being treated. I felt like I was the ‘odd man out’ when around them at times.

I digress. But let’s move on.

Lately the Lord has brought butterflies of plenty across my path as reminders that I am transformed in Him. Yesterday it was a majestic looking deer. Can you believe it?!! How I wish that I could have snapped a pic of it as I was driving home with 2 of my daughters. Oh well. At least I was left with a vivid memory of what this beast looked like. Joy flooded my heart as I heard a word from the Lord come to the forefront of my mind. Amazing!

OH DEER!

My daughters were obviously tickled pink by my vocal expression of delight in seeing this deer as it seemingly pranced across one side of the woods onto the other while giving me time to observe it. It actually stood there for a moment the closer I drove near it. I. was. in. awe. 

Such beauty and strength this deer has. I simply cannot put into words how I felt in that moment. My heart was refreshed. A spring of heavenly water washed over me. I was not feeling as if I was thirsting in a dry land anymore… wondering what would happen next in the situation that weighed my heart down.

My heavenly Father has already worked it out. I have to trust and believe that. I pray for those walking in darkness to one day come into His precious Light. All I really can do is pray from a distance and be a light and helping hand when present as well as from afar.

So what am I saying to you dear hearts?

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding;

Proverbs 3:5 NKJV

I encourage you to seek the Lord for that refreshing and flowing water that never ends. It will spring up a well that causes you to dance, to sing unto Him and praise his name. He knows all and sees all before it ever takes place. Nothing is new under the sun. Nothing shocks him. Does it hurt His heart to see wrongdoing? Yes it does. If he cares then so should we. At the end of the day we all have choices and I pray that one day we come to a full realization that God loves us and wants us to live a life pleasing to Him with passion and purpose loving one another and taking care of each other.

He loved us enough to send His Son down to show us and teach us about right and wrong. How we should live and treat one another. He intimately paid the price for his love and actions by going to the Cross to die for our sins. But He rose from the grave with victory! Nothing and no one could keep him down. Hallelujah! He left us with a Comforter to lead and guide us, to bring comfort and support when we need it.

The Word of God is our blueprint. We can navigate through circumstances that will leave us inspired, encouraged with hope and  refreshed in our souls when it’s feeling dry. It will lead us to those quiet waters to take in and become energized once again. We can and we will be strengthened in the Lord like the majestic deer if we continue to trust and allow Him to take the lead through life’s forests and the terrains you may walk across.

God bless you. I will keep you in my prayers day and night.

With a Jesus love from my heart to yours,

Terra 

Enjoy this wonderful song that I just love and allow it to fill you up! Have a happy and blessed day in Jesus.