His Presence or His Presents: Which Are You Asking More Of?

Question.

In which direction are you extending your hands more towards Him, up or out? Let’s be honest because I’m quite sure as we have grown in the Lord, we all have been guilty of wanting His “presents” more so than His “presence”. Don’t get me wrong…God loves to bless us with the desires of our hearts, but He also wants us to be in His presence fellowshipping with Him. Wouldn’t you want someone who you love to spend time with you rather than to always be expecting something tangible?

Be Anxious For Nothing
Photo Credit: Divine Creations Photography

Christ tells us in the Book of Luke : “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Luke 12: 34)

What brings me to this post today has been my away time in solitude. While I thought that entitling the post about solitude would fit, I seen that above title His Presence or Presents: Which Are You Asking More Of ? pretty much summed up the same thing. Believe it or not, the draft with the question has been sitting since the early part of last year I believe. ( the date changed as I began to type so I cannot say exactly when. Sorry!)

So there has been many moments lately that I have found myself speechless, typeless and clueless in regards to reaching back out to the multitude which is YOU the audience. Back and forth I became stumped so I withdrew once again. There is a season for everything and God’s timing is evidently right when we walk according to His plans. In my solitude over the past month I have drawn closer to the Lord unlike any time that I can remember. Some of it felt like going through a wilderness experience while others have been just about being before Him simply because I need Him, simply because I want to learn and gain some wisdom. With that said my hands have been up towards the heavens praising Him for Who He is and being thankful that He has loved me enough just because I am His child and that He chose ME flaws and all!

Lately I have been behind the lens. Behind the camera lens that is. While I am a big fan of the great outdoors loving to enjoy the beauty of the Lord through His creations, I have found myself deep in thought and awe of His love and His care for those that He loves. I captured these pictures in sport mode (rapid shooting) one day while my family and I was at a local park with walking trails. My heart was calling out to the Lord while my lips did not utter much, yet He knew just what I needed. God has a way of speaking and comforting us in the least obvious ways. I can only hope that I am spiritually sensitive and alert to all these times though I know I will miss some opportunities because of my human nature to expect things in a certain way that’s very apparent and logical in our own thinking. My prayer is that I will seek Him more intimately and more sensitively as I move forward in my daily walk. I pray this for you too.

Here are a few scriptures that continue to feed my soul every time I glance at these pictures or think back on how His lovingkindness has wrapped me in the gentleness of His love and in the security of His love, truth and promises.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6, 7 NKJV)

Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. (Matthew 6:26, 34 NKJV)

Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life ? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest? “Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith! And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well. (Luke 12:22-31 NIV)

Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up. (James 4:10 NKJV)

To my brothers and sisters in the Lord as well as those seeking and in need of a Savior, I beseech you to always trust in the sovereignty of God for He is most faithful and our very best friend in times of need and comfort. Every day will not be sunshine but trust and believe that if you stay under His cloud of direction that you will come out just fine no matter the situation whether it is a matter of the heart or worldly needs that He has not taken a blind eye to. Seek His presence more than His presents and remember that all other things will be added unto you. It is good to suffer for righteousness and holiness when we want to live out our lives for the Lord and to deal with matters in a way unlike the way the world would. Jesus went away many of times to pray often to His Father. We should too so solitude is not always bad when we have perspective. Allow your tears of mourning to become tears of joy and the aches of your heart to become rays of sunshine overflowing into the lives of others as you walk in midst of the Most Holy One. In that they will see that God is more than able to provide. (Jehovah- Jireh) Be patient in all things and wait on the Lord.

Blessings, love and prayers to you all in Christ Jesus,

Terra

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Advertisements

Pathway to Purpose: Remember Lot’s Wife? If You Do, Don’t Look Back

20130116-201619.jpg
Photo Courtesy: tnewsome2creations.wordpress.com

In that day, he which shall be upon the housetop, and his stuff in the house, let him not come down to take it away: and he that is in the field, let him likewise not return back. Remember Lot’s wife. Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it. (Luke 17:31-33 KJV)

Thinking back about Lot’s wife is kind of scary in a sense. What if God chose to show us He meant business if we seen someone turn into a pillar of salt right before our very own eyes? Would that get your attention?!!

If you have the time, please go back and read Genesis 19:1-26. This scripture talks about what lead up to Lot’s wife turning into a pillar of salt.

Following The Lord isn’t always easy. To give up and deny self, part ways with unequally yoked people, to live a life that’s holy and righteous and pleasing to our Creator can be hard at first as a new believer and even difficult as times as a “seasoned” Christian because we will be taken out and away from our comfort zone.

There is always a good reason for it when we choose the way of The Lord.

We are to walk in light. Not darkness. We are to turn away from our old sinful nature of thinking and living and clothe ourselves kingdom-minded in thought, word and deed.

When God shows mercy and gifts us with grace from situations that could harm us mentally and/or physically, why do we choose to look back?

What are we missing from the past?

It ought to be nothing simply because Father knows best. He knows the outcome of everything. I mean EVERYTHING.

There is a pathway that leads to life and one that leads to destruction. Life is in Christ, death is in the world. I choose the pathway of life. I pray you do as well.

Christ said : “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. (Matthew 7:13, 14 NKJV)

There are many types of temptations to indulge in whether its mentally, verbally or physically. Perhaps all three. You will also be faced with difficulties when it comes to the heart. An example such as being left out/ being an outcast to your own family and friends who are not believers nor followers of our Lord and Savior is one of many.

You still love them and want to be in union but it does not mean that you do whatever is necessary to stay in the circle; the clique. This is not good and it is not right.

As followers of Christ Jesus we were made and set apart. We are not to conform to the ways of the world. We are to be holy because He is holy.

God has plans for you. Remember that. Recall what He said in the Book of Jeremiah……

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord , “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV) * this is one of my favorite scriptures I hold close to my heart.

Hold tight to this word of truth; this promise from God that He cannot go back on.

Just to share a bit of my own journey, there have been recent occasions when The Lord has asked me to do certain things and there have been times that He has told me what to do just as well. Have they been easy. Yes and no. Why? Because some things required me to step out of my comfort zone, some were tender spots because my heart was going to be affected and I knew it was not going to feel good at all. Did I follow through? Yes. ( well I slow poked a couple of times and took some detours but my way was revoked so I did it the right way! And if you are wondering if I am hardheaded the answer is Yes too. I’m not proud of it but I am learning to submit more and more to His will in uncomfortable territory.)

I wanted to do His will and I knew in part that my obedience would plant fruit bearing seeds BUT MY FLESH; my human side, did not want to feel the pain of feeling left out like an outcast, I did not want discord to strike me across the back like a whip simply because I chose Jesus. I CHOSE the better path.

Dear Reader, as I have shared my own experience in part with you I am encouraging you to still keep faith in The Lord and in the calling you have on your life. If you have yet to know what your calling is I encourage you to keep pressing on in your walk; your intimate and personal relationship walk with Christ.

Everyone will not understand and many will not want to accept it. But take heart because our God will bring people into your life who will understand and accept. He will provide. He will open doors and bless you beyond measure! Just wait and see!

Your act of obedience goes farther than what the human brain can conceive. We never know the ultimate purpose and plan behind God’s ways. We can only trust Him with the outcome whether we see it in this life or not.

The seeds we plant may be for someone’s own good. Salvation and freedom may be just around the corner for a lost soul. A desperate heart in need of a true Friend and Comforter will soon be found.

It’s not all about us…..

Pathway to Purpose. Do not look back. Your life and that of others could depend on it.

God bless you and keep you as you move forward on your journey until you reach your permanent destination called Heaven.

Home Sweet Home.

You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore. (Psalms 16:11 NKJV)

20130116-202414.jpg

Are You Smarter, Wiser or Perhaps More Creative Than God? NAWWW…. Who are we kidding?!!

 

Let’s face it. If a tv show ever existed we would lose hands down, way way down. I mean wayyyy down. We are not smarter than God. We surely cannot outwit Him even if we tried. (remember that it was He and He ALONE who created every thing seen and unseen.)
He is The Man with the Master Plan.
Last night was not unlike any other in my home but it was a great time to experience as my husband, a couple of the kids and myself were watching Animal Planet and the show basically was about life in the ocean. All sorts of living organisms and creatures were shown and talked about. I seemingly cannot find a picture of this fish that I thought was ummm….. ummm not cute. So I’ll opt for this one below. It looks interesting still.
20121003-082905.jpg

Mola Mola (Sunfish)

Fast Facts

Type:
Fish
Diet:
Omnivore
Average life span in captivity:
Up to 10 years
Size:
11 ft (3.3 m)
Weight:
Up to 5,000 lbs (2,250 kg)
Group name:
School
Did you know?
Ocean sunfish can become so infested with skin parasites, they will often invite small fish or even birds to feast on the pesky critters.
Size relative to a 6-ft (2-m) man:

20121003-083317.jpg

(Photo Sources: National Geographic and Wikipedia)

Anyway, as the show carried on my mind started thinking about just how smart, wonderful, majestic, and powerful our God is. Who can compare? There is none like Him. Just as we human beings were made with great craftsmanship from the inside out, characteristics and all, the same has been done for life in the ocean as well as the skies. All of the universe for that matter.
I was smiling and thinking to myself “Wow!! God made a diverse amount of sea life that I have yet to see and learn about. He created everything in a matter of days. No one else could ever do that! Ever. My Lord, I just want to give You props. I can’t wait to see You one day. How on earth do I still try to complete tasks or think things through on my own when YOU have all of the answers.
We need praise the Lord just for being Who He says He is. He made us all and we simply cannot live this life without Him. He holds the keys to the world. All these earthly treasures are great to look at, touch and enjoy but nothing stands in comparison to the treasures in heaven. While I look forward to the treasures in heaven, I look most forward to meeting Him. O’ what a day that will be!
I get excited when I have these little moments with the Lord as He shows me pieces of Himself. Living Simply in Abundance fills my soul, fills my heart and mouth with delight to worship, praise and give thanks for all that has been done for me and you.
Let’s take delight in the Lord always. There should never be a dry season or day to not exalt His lordship, love and faithfulness. The water, stars and winds praise Him. We should do it too. He rules. He reigns. He lives forevermore.
Our God is great. Better yet, He’s grand and I am so glad that I have the opportunity each and every day to draw closer to Him to develop a better and intimate relationship.
We have so much to learn from Him! He will always be smarter and wiser. The best we can do is sit, listen, learn and apply.
God bless each and every heart, mind and soul this day as you praise Him. He’s worthy of our lifted voices to glorify and magnify His holy Name.
Here’s a Psalm I read yesterday morning way before I even seen the television show last night. Isn’t God so smart?!! He knew exactly what His plans were with me and I am tickled pink! Here is goes:
Psalm 148
Praise the Lord!

Praise the Lord from the heavens;

praise him in the heights!

Praise him, all his angels;

praise him, all his hosts!

Praise him, sun and moon,

praise him, all you shining stars!

Praise him, you highest heavens,

and you waters above the heavens!

Let them praise the name of the Lord!

For he commanded and they were created.

And he established them forever and ever;

he gave a decree, and it shall not pass away.
Praise the Lord from the earth,

you great sea creatures and all deeps,

fire and hail, snow and mist,

stormy wind fulfilling his word!

Mountains and all hills,

fruit trees and all cedars!

Beasts and all livestock,

creeping things and flying birds!

Kings of the earth and all peoples,

princes and all rulers of the earth!

Young men and maidens together,

old men and children!

Let them praise the name of the Lord,

for his name alone is exalted;

his majesty is above earth and heaven.

He has raised up a horn for his people,

praise for all his saints,

for the people of Israel who are near to him.

Praise the Lord! (Psalm 148:1-14 ESV)

* May The Lord add a blessing to the reading and hearing of His most holy word. Amen.

 

Meeting in the Clouds

While I’m not really sure where my recent fascination with clouds came from, I do know that I have always enjoyed looking at them since I was a kid. As of late, I have been going outside taking pictures of the sunsets or any type of cloud formation that I find interesting around the perimeters of my home. Occasionally I will take pictures if I am out with my family and my camera just so happens to tag along. This photography hobby has been keeping me preoccupied and it gives me a broader outlook when I capture God’s creations in still form.

I have noticed that the more I think about creation, it was and is by One source that all this came to be.

God created the heavens and the earth! I enjoy living simply in abundance of His blessings. Truly!!

There are some days that I find myself going to sit outside during the day or as the sun starts to set and have a “meeting in the clouds” with the Lord. I find myself singing or praying while smiling with a heart filled with gladness knowing that I have favor upon my life. What a reason to be thankful….. because He surely did not have to give me anything.

I take the time to converse with the Lord about my day, my thoughts and prayers for others who are in need of Him. Many are laying up in hospitals, some are literally lost due to being kidnapped, children are being forced in sex-trafficking, someone is plotting to take the lives of innocent people for no just cause, a new life has been brought into this world, a lost soul just gave their life to Christ after fighting the desire to live by the ways of this world. So much to think about. So much to be in prayer about. Much to rejoice in as well as times to mourn with others.

We only have one life to live. May we not take it for granted. It can disappear before our very eyes.

PRAYER IS KEY. It is our lifeline of communication with the Lord. It’s a time of communion and fellowship with our Creator.

Will we forsake the glorious ways of our God, his majestic splendor, his love and mercy? How awesome is He?!!

Our God is “the Man with the master plan”. He’s “all that and then some”. You get what I am saying.

Jesus tells us : Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not worry, saying, What shall we eat? or What shall we drink? or What shall we wear? For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. (Matthew 6:30-34 NKJV)

My front porch

So whether it is on your front porch, outside taking a stroll or just sitting still thinking, take some time to thank the Lord for all He has done. Today may not be all that it could be but at least you are still here. You can choose to make the best of it or wallow in pity. Someone has it worse right about now. Someone is on their death-bed and the clock still keeps ticking. When they pass on….. they will never be able to say that they wish they could have done things differently in their life. We all will go through various things in our life time. Storms do not last always. You cannot have a rainbow without the rain.

Make the best of today and live it like there is no tomorrow. God is good. He is faithful and He is present.

Creative photshop editing after a thunderstorm

Will you go meet Him in the clouds today?

Enjoy the slideshow of pictures (< link) amongst others that I have taken over time. I stand in awe of the works of His hands. What a wonderful God of heaven and earth!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

*Here’s a song I’d love to share with you. I can’t help but lift up my hands and worship the Lord for He is Glorious!

Little Birdie Minding Their Own Business or It Teaching Us A Life Lesson?!!

Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You. In God (I will praise His word), In God I have put my trust; I will not fear. What can flesh do to me? (Psalm 56:3-4 NKJV)

*instead of Pressing It from my photography blog Divine Creations Photograpy, I chose to share this post from my primary blog. Hope you enjoy it.

Now this was a super sweet moment for me when I took this picture. My girls were outside playing with their friends on the side of the house and found this little birdie just sitting. One of the other neighbor’s pet Chihuahua named J.C. snuck out of her fence (as usual ) to come and try to nip at the bird. The girls came in and told me about it. I surely had to grab my camera and run out! J.C. left the bird alone being as it was that she seen me coming, so I think she thought I was going to chase her. (giggling)

NOTTTTTT!!! I was not about to waste my time chasing a dog when I have the opportunity to get a picture of this cute little bird that did not move from where it was standing.

I was in awe of this little bird just sitting under the tree in the shade of the few leafs that surrounded the bottom of the trunk. It was just looking up toward the sky and kept blinking it’s cute little eyes. I was overjoyed that God has been providing opportunities for me to capture His creations right around my own home! Now I don’t know if this little birdie was sick simply because it did not budge as close as the kids and I were as well as the dog. I said a prayer under my breath for this lonesome animal for I did not know how it got there and if it was sick. I just did not want the dog or any other animal come and maul it to death. I was also taking into to consideration that it could be carrying a disease so I warned the kids to stay away from it and to not touch it.

One of my best friends was in agreeance since she happened to be on the phone as I was snapping pics. I was glad that she was able to share the experience with me. I took a picture on my iPhone and sent it to her. The picture above was taken with my photography camera.

This picture is raw and unedited. I simply wanted to leave it as is because I had a close encounter with this little bird that seemingly was not afraid. It never took its eyes off of the skies.

Kinda reminds me of how we are to be with Jesus. No matter what is going on in our life, especially the hard times, we are to not take our eyes off of Him. Just like Peter stepping out into the body of water to meet Jesus, he could walk on water UNTIL he shifted his focus. He took his eyes off of Christ when the sea started to move around him due to the strong wind. He became scared and started to sink. Christ rescued him though . Just imagine that……. (you can read this story in the Bible. Matthew 14:22-33)

The little bird did not budge though I could have harmed it or little J.C. could have killed it. It made a simple statement to me with a HUGE impact on life.

“Do not be afraid of the unknown if you have God on your side.”

For I the Lord your God hold your right hand; I am the Lord, Who says to you, Fear not; I will help you! (Isaiah 41:13 AMP)

After I finished taking pictures I walked away to go back into the house. The dog came back to bother the quiet and still bird just for it to show that it was not afraid. It took off in flight with ease and landed on top of my neighbor’s roof and joined the family of birds that was watching us all from above!

Isn’t God amazing?!!

The Potter’s Hand

I will sing of Your love forever my Lord. I am yours. Create in me all that is meant to be. Praises ring in the courts, praise will continously be my song! I release tears of joy. My mind cannot fathom the magnitude of Your holiness. How great Thou Art! Oh bless my soul and all that is within me. May righteousness be my guide all my days. May my feet be rooted in Your word springing forth life as I go before man sharing the Gospel for the sake of knowledge and salvation. I am clay wanting to be used. Keep my thoughts O Lord that I may stand firm when evil strikes. Keep my soul stirred and fired up that I may not wander away. Hallelujah! Hallelujah! I worship You my God. My Redeemer. My source of living You are. Blessed be Your name is all the earth! Amen.

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! (Psalm 139:13-17 NKJV)

Oh, worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness! Tremble before Him, all the earth. (Psalm 96:9 NKJV)

Praise Break: Jesus Is On The Mainline

I don’t know what it is about being in the kitchen during the time when I am about to fix dinner plates for the family, but random songs come into my head and I get into this PRAISE mode of singing and dancing! My poor, but patient family! They are about their business unless they are starving as they say or I call everyone to come eat!

A burst of prayer and singing led me from the kitchen to the dining room, to the foyer and eventually the computer. I tell ya, GOD IS GOOD!!

Precious Lord Take My Hand by Mahalia Jackson started me off and things took off from there. I listen to a variety of music that leads me into worship so you will see collection of different videos and scriptures over time.

Dear friends all around the world….. God loves you! Tell him all about your day. Share your life with him on a daily basis. He’s so precious! Words can never express my gratitude, my adoration, my reverence for Him being Supreme in my life. We will have those times when we just need to go into our prayer closet and spend some time with Him. And when you can’t make it there, just pause. Pause and give Him the glory, give him the praise for he is worthy of it. He is available all hours of the day. Just call Him.

Then I called upon the name of the Lord: O Lord, I implore You, deliver my soul! (Psalm 116:4 NKJV)

The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, To all who call upon Him in truth. He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He also will hear their cry and save them. (Psalm 145:18-19 NKJV)

Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing his head with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. (James 5:13-15 NKJV)

My mouth shall speak the praise of the Lord, And all flesh shall bless His holy name Forever and ever. (Psalm 145:21 NKJV)

Lord shine down your blessings upon the earth and shall we praise Your holy name

Feel free to share your praise break experience however you feel led! He’s more than deserving because He’s done more for us than we could ever do for ourselves.

And the Lord says: 

Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. (Mattthew 7:7-8 KJV)