God is Love

God is Love!IMG_3238

Woven together, the components of our lives are very much like this collage…separate and individual events, experiences, memories and traits all come together to make up who we are….

 

…but sometimes….

well, sometimes…our lives are really just a mess…

…and in that state, it can be more difficult to see value or truth or beauty or purpose…or promise…we just see the mess…

…and if we’re honest with ourselves, that mess can be disheartening at times!

 

So–I thought I’d show you my work table–before this collage all came together…

It’s not so pretty, is it?

IMG_3104

The smeared mess of paints in my paintbox…the chipped handle of the paintbrush….seemingly disparate, disconnected strips of paper…spattered paint…

Yet, each of these had a very important–even vital role that they filled–well…that only they could fill…and a purpose in the whole project…even though they were a mess initially!

But all of these messy components have something in common…something that was revealed when the collage was finally assembled…

Can you guess what the common element is–tying all of these components together?  You might want to scroll back up to the first picture to catch a clue….

Central to the collage is this theme from 1 John 4:7-16: GOD is LOVE!

 

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love . 9 In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

12 No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us. 13 By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world. 15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 16 And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love , and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.

GOD IS LOVE!

It is so true!

“GOD is LOVE” is the bridge that pulls all the separate components–and all the painted strips of paper, together–in the collage…(did you find it?)…and much, much more importantly, in our lives!

IMG_3231 (2)

 

 

His love spans the gapsbrings beauty where there was only chaos…and gives purpose, completely!  His love leads us to trust and obey Him!  It’s so safe to do so!

And the blessed result of trusting and obeying Him brings hope and peace! It’s beautiful!

Just like in the collage!

His love can completely overcome the messes in our lives.  If we’ll submit our hearts to Him, He can make something beautiful with us!  Truly!

Will you let Him?

Something to think about!

If you have comments or questions, I’d love to hear from you!

You can send me a message by clicking on “CONTACT” at the top of this page.

I’ve included some Bible passages for you, if you are interested in reading further about how God can make beauty in our lives:

John 15:13-14; Romans 5:8-11; Galatians 3:26-27

_________________________________

Hugs,

Lisa

P.S.

If you’d enjoy making a collage of your very own, it’s really quite simple to do!

Completely wet a piece of watercolour paper with water, and then randomly drop 2 or 3 colours of paint onto the page.  When the paper is wet, the water encourages the colours to run together, creating a pretty effect!  You can tilt the page to aid the process, if you like. (Below are a couple samples…on the second one, to add interest and texture, I pressed a circular object into the painting  while the paint was still wet. You can enjoy experimenting.)

Once the paper is dry, simply cut it into strips …weave them together into a pleasing pattern, glue down onto card stock, and then choose some favourite Bible passages or phrases to set into your collage….then mat, frame and enjoy!  Ta da!

Beauty from all of the mess and chaos!  And that’s just what God’s love specializes in, in our lives…if we’ll let Him!

IMG_3232IMG_3233

How Precious is Your Loving Kindness, O God! ~Psalm 36:7

IMG_3085 (2)

Our hearts are hungry for genuine love!

The most genuine love we’ll ever, ever discover is this:

“How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God.

Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Your wings.”

 

Could there be a more beautiful and endearing picture of love, than this one—as God Himself offers to the children of mankind, such tender comfort, and closeness to Himself!

Can you imagine?  That the God of all creation–the Maker of all that is–longs to love, to care for, protect, draw close, and comfort you and me!  He truly does!

How amazing!

How beautiful and precious is His love!

 

 

IMG_3088 (2)

1 John4:19 affirms:

“We love Him because He first loved us”

Loving another because you’ve already received unlimited, unconditional, honest, authentic and sacrificial love from that one first…makes loving in return such a simple decision…so safe…so sure!

But that will never, never, ever be more the case than with the awesome God of heaven…Who loved us first…perfectly–and Who’s shown His love in such great abundance–at such a huge personal sacrificial cost–through Jesus’ gift–perfectly….not in a flawed way like humans!

IMG_3084

 Don’t you want to just thank Him with your life in response–giving your heart to seek and follow Him in return for such a precious love!?

That needs to be our hearts’ response…to His love!  There is NO OTHER LOVE like His for His children!!

Sending hugs and warm wishes to you!

Lisa

p.s.   I made this heart sketch especially for you…in case you’d like to print off one for yourself…or to frame as a gift…or to create your own cards of love for others!  Hope you’ll enjoy its vintage-style design!  Below is the graphic to download…

 

 

IMG_3090 (2)

 

 

 

 

IMG_3088

 

 

 

 

 

BLESSED is the Man Who TRUSTS in the LORD, Jeremiah 17:7-8

Jeremiah 17 7-8

 

TRUST….

HOPE…..

 

These are precious commodities…and not very plentiful, or common, in our day, are they?

There are just so many things we can’t trust in or depend on!

 

But did you notice what they do for the one who TRUSTS in the LORD?…and for the one who’s HOPE is the LORD?  That one is blessed…happy!!

He is like a tree whose roots reach all the way to a continual source of life-giving and refreshing water..always satisfied and nurtured by the GOODNESS of GOD!!

 

Can you imagine anything better in the heat or droughts that come our way–than to have access to the real Source of Life!!

 

GOD offers that to you and me!!

 

We just need to reach for Him–as a tree sends it thirsty roots in search of life-giving water….

Really HOPING…..

truly TRUSTING the LORD….

We’ll never, never, ever be disappointed!

 

Hugs!

Lisa

P.S. MUCH, MUCH THANKS to guest-photographer Ronnet Meeboer for sharing this stunning graphic with us!  It’s just beautiful, Ronnet!  MUCH appreciation!!

 

 

 

 

Glorify Him with Thanksgiving!

With You is the Fountain of Life…Psalm 36:9-10

fountain walk

Psalm 36:5-10

 

Your mercy, O LORD, is in the heavens;

Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.

 

Your righteousness is like the great mountains;

Your judgments are a great deep;

O LORD, You preserve man and beast.

 

How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God!

Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Your wings.

 

They are abundantly satisfied with the fullness of Your house,

And You give them drink from the river of Your pleasures.

 

For with You is the fountain of life ;

In Your light we see light.   

 

Oh, continue Your lovingkindness to those who know You,

And Your righteousness to the upright in heart.

     Imagine such BEAUTIFUL MERCY and LOVINGKINDNESS!!

God is so AMAZING!!

How we need to LOVE, PRAISE and OBEY Him!

      For the LOVINGKINDNESS of God flows….

in mercy and faithfulness…

with countless goodness…

abundantly satisfying the hearts…

of those who KNOW God–

and of those who are UPRIGHT in HEART!

     I LOVE that!  He is so GOOD!  And so deserving of ALL of our THANKS and PRAISE!!  Every. Single. Day!!!

     But this truth causes us to wonder…to look deep into our very own hearts…and ask ourselves…

…is that me?

Do I KNOW the Lord?

Am I truly UPRIGHT in heart?

…so that I may receive the LOVINGKINDNESS of God Himself?

     If the answer is NO…

…if we are not…the story is NOT over–because, we may come to know God through His book of love, the Bible!

     And through God, in Christ, we can be made clean

having our hearts purified and cleansed!!

     Such amazing LOVE the Father has for the children of men–for us!!

Won’t you reach out to Him in loving thankfulness–and receive His blessings?!

     Below are some passages for further thought–on how that can be–through His beautiful grace:

Hugs!

Lisa

The importance of KNOWING God:

Titus 1:16

They profess to know God , but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work.

1 John 4:8

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.  He who does not love does not know God , for God is love.

John 17:1-4

Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You, as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him. And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.

2 Thessalonians 1:7-12

…when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.  These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, when He comes, in that Day, to be glorified in His saints and to be admired among all those who believe, because our testimony among you was believed.

Therefore we also pray always for you that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness and the work of faith with power, that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

What does the Lord say about being UPRIGHT or CLEAN in heart?

Hebrews 10:22  

let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.

1 Peter 3:18-22

For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit,  by whom also He went and preached to the spirits in prison, who formerly were disobedient, when once the Divine longsuffering waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water. There is also an antitype which now saves usbaptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,   who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, angels and authorities and powers having been made subject to Him.

Psalm 51:10

Create in me a clean heart , O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me.

Acts 22:16

And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord. 

~~~

~~MUCH, MUCH THANKS to Krissy Barker for sharing this BEAUTIFUL pic with us all!!!  Appreciation and hugs, Krissy!!~~

I Have Come That They May Have Life…More Abundantly…John 10:10

John 10 10    life more abundant

In John 10, Jesus paints a beautiful picture for us…can you just see it?…of a well-loved flock of sheep…with a warm and safe sheepfold…and a precious, protective and loving shepherd…whom they love to follow!

But then, on the sinister side, he tells of a robber and a thief that threatens their well-being….just as satan wants to steal our peace, joy and purpose.

Isn’t that like the struggles in our own lives?  Good versus evil!  Kindness competing with cruelty!  Love fighting to win out over hatred!  Hope shining even in the shadow of fear!

There’s wonderful news!!  Because Jesus is that loving, good shepherd of John 10!

He is the originator of goodness…kindness…love…and hope!

And He wants to be our shepherd, guide and protector!

Does your heart long to reach out for His love, kindness, goodness and hope?  Really, there’s nothing else but darkness, otherwise!

John 10:3-4 tells us,

“The sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.    

 And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.”

 

Knowing the shepherd’s voice—that’s so vital!  We can grow to know Jesus’ voice, so that we’ll follow only Him!

We’ll come to know His voice as we spend time with Him…through His word, the Bible!

 

And it’s so worth our time and effort to know Him, because He has a beautiful promise for those who do!  His promise?  Life…more…abundant!

John 10:10-11

“…I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. 

I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.”

He wants to give us this abundant life!  Jesus’ love is so great!  He proved it by giving up His life for those who would love, follow and obey Him!

We could not follow any other who would or could love us more genuinely!

Hugs!

Lisa

                                                                                                                        

 

Set Your Heart and Your Soul to Seek the LORD ~ 1 Chronicles 22:19

Rest in the LORD gosling

I would have missed them!  The little parade of puffballs!

But my husband not only saw them as we drove along—he even turned around, went back, and parked, so that I could capture these pics for you!

Such a good guy!

on a mission 1 Chronicles 16 10-11

Darling little things, these baby goslings…as soft and fragile as rose petals.  It was a treat to watch them waddle and quack.  But as I studied them, I was impressed by the fact that the majority of their interest and energy was focused on searching the ground for food.  They were so intent!

You know—it’s a remarkable thing—have you ever thought about it—how that all healthy babies, human and animal, are born instinctively seeking!?

goslings seeking 1 chron 22 19

They seek nourishment—they seek comfort—they seek protection—they seek rest!

And likely you can think of other things they naturally seek, as well.  Even without being instructed or educated, they’re born with an innate drive to have their basic, fundamental needs filled!

Why is that?

It’s a matter of survival!

 If those needs are not met—they will die!

 

seeking Deut 4 29

How is it that as newborn babies, we humans have no qualms about waking our mothers, even at 3 a.m., for our nourishment?  We have no problem finding refuge with our parents during a midnight thunderstorm—even if it means disturbing their sleep?  We need!  We seek!  And thankfully, they care!

Is it possible, that though we’re so keenly aware of our physical needs—that we may overlook or miss the absolute need for nourishing our spiritual selves?

We need to seek God—and His truth!

Just as these wee goslings were so intent on finding nourishment and then rest, we too must seek, and seek, then seek some more—to find spiritual truth and nourishment in God’s precious word!  He longs to give it!

And then rest, contentment and comfort will follow!

Rest in the LORD gosling

 Hugs!

Lisa

                                       

“Have You Not Known? Have You Not Heard?” Isaiah 40:28-31

Springtime woods

Isaiah 40:28-31

 

Have you not known?

Have you not heard?

The everlasting God, the LORD,

The Creator of the ends of the earth,

Neither faints nor is weary.

His understanding is unsearchable.

 

He gives power to the weak,

And to those who have no might He increases strength.

 

Even the youths shall faint and be weary,

And the young men shall utterly fall,

 

But those who wait on the LORD

Shall renew their strength;

They shall mount up with wings like eagles,

They shall run and not be weary,

They shall walk and not faint.

 11149392_1595970583983978_647260049492654825_n-002

Years ago, when our children were small, it was important for them to “hide” beautiful truths from God’s holy word into their hearts.  The truths are hidden deep in their hearts—still!

A beginning section of this passage was the first large one that they worked on learning—I can remember their efforts!  You’d be impressed and surprised at the capacity of young ones to learn.  (And it is a wonderful idea for us as well—to hide God’s word in our hearts!)

After much diligent effort to memorize the text, nothing beat the sparkle in our children’s eyes—and the big, happy and confident smiles, as they recited the passage to us, with such inner satisfaction at the accomplishment!  It was beautiful!

But even more than memorizing the words—and all in the proper sequence—is understanding the majesty of the Lord this passage is describing!  He is the God, so awesome, magnificent, powerful and wise—that it must fill our hearts with wonder and love to know that He wants each one of us to be His beloved child!  And He certainly does!

His existence is eternal…His ability is without end…His energy is limitless…His understanding is unsearchable…and He gives power and strength to—please don’t miss this—to those who “wait on Him”, in expectation of His provision!  Don’t you just love that!?

“Even the youths shall faint and be weary,

And the young men shall utterly fall,

 

But those who wait on the LORD

Shall renew their strength;

They shall mount up with wings like eagles,

They shall run and not be weary,

They shall walk and not faint.

Isaiah 40:30

 Springtime woods-001

None of us will ever receive a sweeter invitation!

 

We all need what the LORD is offering!

 

Do you want to be His? 

Your heart, your soul, longs to say, “Yes!”

 

Hugs!

Lisa

Passages for further consideration and study:

Galatians 3:26-29

For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.

For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

                 

1 John 3:1, 3

Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!………..And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.

 

Revelation 21:7

He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son.

p.s.  MUCH, MUCH THANKS! to our guest-photographer, for sharing the beautiful photo of this special place–Laura Hains–one of our children who learned this passage so long ago!!  Love you!!

 

From the Rising of the Sun to its Going Down, the LORD’S Name is to be Praised!

Deep Lavender Sunset with scripture

Psalm 113:1-6

 

Praise the LORD!

Praise, O servants of the LORD,

Praise the name of the LORD!

 

Blessed be the name of the LORD

From this time forth and forevermore!

 

From the rising of the sun to its going down

The LORD’s name is to be praised.

 

The LORD is high above all nations,

His glory above the heavens.

Who is like the LORD our God, Who dwells on high,

Who humbles Himself to behold

The things that are in the heavens and in the earth?

Deep Lavender Sunset tile 1

It’s interesting to discover that the Hebrew word for ‘PRAISE’, found in this passage, means shine, and also, to celebrate!

Have you ever considered that the splendor of the sun cannot possibly be hidden in a cloudless sky?

And the sensational colours of a glorious, clear sunrise, or breath-taking sunset, like this one, can in no way be masked or erased from the sky!  They shine with a beauty, intensity and brightness that delight our hearts!

In a far, far greater sense, God’s name must shine forth!

His name is to be praised!!

We—imagine such a thing—we can shine forth God’s name—we can celebrate His name—with our praise!……making known through our lives the absolute wonder of Who God is!!

Deep Lavender Sunset original edit-002

HE is SO WORTHY to be PRAISED!!!

Let’s be busy praising Him with our lives—today!!!

Hugs!

Lisa

Here are some verses for further consideration: Hebrews 13:15-16; Colossians 3:17; 1 Peter 4:11; John 14:21.

MUCH THANKS to our guest photographer, Amanda Coffman, for her kindness in sharing this beautiful sunset shot with us all!!!  Just gorgeous!!  THANK YOU Amanda!!

 

To Him Who is Able to Do…

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 73 other followers

%d bloggers like this: