A Life In Pictures & Words

A Life In Pictures & Words 

Photo Credit: Maggie P Photography

A Life In Pictures & Words

 

February 2021

 

Week 1:   Sunday, February 7  

Connection

Photo Credit: Maggie P Photography

John 15:1-7

 

God gives us many great word pictures in the Bible, ones that tell a story to help us understand His word better. John 15:1-7 is a very good example of this and is a very good parable to use for our word this week, “Connection”. There are a few types of connections but today we will talk about our connection to God and his word.

In these verse God uses the illustration of a vineyard, how God the Father is the gardener, when growing grapes the gardener cuts off the branches that are not bearing fruit and he prunes the ones that do bear fruit, in verse two it actually says this “He cuts off every branch in ME that bears no fruit.” God takes away the sin in our lives and He prunes or grooms us to walk in His light, to follow His leading for our lives, He prunes so we will bear even more good fruit, ” So that we will be even more fruitful.”

We must remain in God and he must remain in us because without Him we can do nothing, staying connected through Him, Gods word and connection to a body of believers, this is how we remain /connect to God. “If you remain in me and I in you , you will bear much fruit ,apart from me you can do nothing.” What kind of fruit will we bear, grapes, bananas, apples, maybe kiwi? nope ,none of these, it is talking about a different fruit as we remain in Christ we bear fruits like, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, Faithfulness, goodness and self-control, Galatians5:22. These are also referred to as the fruits of the spirit, it is these fruits that should remain in us and be evident to others, they show others that we are indeed are connected to God and desire to worship and stay connected to Him.

If you don’t remain in Christ, you will be like what verse six refers to 6:” like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.” I don’t want to be thrown into a fire of any kind. This next verse offers so much hope it says 7:”If you remain in me and I remain in you, ask whatever it is you wish, and it will be done for you.” Now lets remember God IS Not a Genie in a bottle that you rub and ask for wishes from, His will is always for His purpose. We are to be disciples for Christ, to go out and share the Gospel with others, love others as God has loved us, keep His commandments.

So much hope from a grape arbor, , gardener and the fruit it produces, read this chapter in John 15:1-17, there is so much to glean from it and apply to our lives. Now pass me the grape jelly, please or how about a small glass of wine!

 

 

Week 2 Sunday, February 14

 

Love

Photo Credit: Maggie P Photography

1Corinthians 13: 4&5,7 NLT

John 3:16 NLT

Several years ago I took this picture outside my work place, I work for a local radio station and at first what I saw in the picture reminded me of a saying from my preschool teaching days, yes I have ran the gamut of jobs I have held over the years, I was a preschool teacher for 25 years of my life that is almost half my life, any way I digress, one of the saying we used in art time with the littles especially at this time of year was,” Jesus melts my heart” or “Jesus love me snow much”! so maybe you can see why that was what came to mind first when I took this picture.

Jesus has been melting my heart for many years, since childhood I have always viewed Him  as the love of my soul, having a turbulent childhood, disfunction was a common everyday occurrence in our home, I don’t know too many families these days that can say they didn’t have disfunction. I think most of us have learned the “Jesus Loves Me” song in Sunday school or VBS, and that was what I knew of Jesus when I was little, as I grew up and entered my teens  I sort of forgot that Jesus loved me, I had so many insecurities I don’t even know where to start so I won’t. Those insecurities included body and beauty images, I have struggled with weight and physical beauty most all of my life, I was insecure as a person too. 

What I have learned in the years following my teens is this, to say you are ugly and that you hate yourself so much is like saying Gods creation in a bunch of junk! what do I mean here? I mean that we are created in His image, He loves us just as we are because He created us in our mother’s womb, He loved us so much He thought the world need one of us in it. It took me a really long time to realize God loves me that much and that He created me for a purpose and it has taken me even longer to realize my purpose. My purpose is to serve the hearts of women in His word, actions that reflect Him and quiet deeds that no one knows about( random acts of kindness.) also sharing Gods love with my family, friends, community, and the world! This looks different for everyone, This is the base of God Styled Life Ministries.

I don’t know if there is a Hallmark card big enough to hold all the love God has for us, but in His word there are these verses 1Corinthians 13:4 & 5 NLT) “Love is patient, Love is kind, love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and keeps no record of being wronged. ” and verse 7 NLT) “Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful and endures through every circumstance,”. 

With all the love verses in the Bible, I think the love of God is best demonstrated in John 3:16 NLT) “For this is how God loved the world: He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” I don’t know about you but that is a big ask to give your only child , but God loves us so much He would do it all over again.

Happy Valentine’s Day, May we all love one another just as God has loved us!

 

 

Week 3: Sunday, February 21,2021

 

Frozen

Photo Credit: Maggie P Photography

Hebrews 12:1

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.”

 

Ice storms in southern Indiana are not rare for us in the Winter time, we probably get at least one in the Winter season, the picture above was from one of our more hazardous ice storms a few years back, it not only froze things in time , it also made them bend to its will. WE are a lot alike that, just as the ice freezes everything it touches so do we have seasons for being frozen in sin or sinful thoughts, frozen water, ice as we call it, is just like our sin , it weighs us down until we are stuck, we know the only to get unstuck is to go before the cross and ask God to forgive our sins but sometimes our hearts are just as frozen as these branches in the picture above and we are bending to the will of our sin instead of the will of God.

What we must remember is God will far outweighs our sin, His will for us is to live a life that glorifies Him and Him alone, all we have is His and all we owe is to Him alone. Lets be reminded of Gods love for us all and the sacrifice He gave us by putting His only Son on the cross for each and everyone’s sin, thaw out your hearts towards God and kneel before the cross, God has given each of us a race to run , wouldn’t it be easier if we could shed that ice encased around our hearts and run with endurance until we cross that finish line?

Week 4: Sunday, February 28,2021

Stillness

 

Photo Credit: Maggie P Photography

Key Verses : Hebrews 4:9-10 NLT 

“So there is a special rest still waiting for the people of God. For all who have entered into God’s rest have rested from their labors, just as God did after creating the world.”

I don’t know about you but the thought of having to create the whole world is exhausting, I am tired just thinking about what to name all the animals but God , He got it done and on the 7th day He rested. The picture above reminds me of stillness, it was taken just after the snow stopped for the late afternoon ,early evening, it was just still and peaceful nothing including the birds had touched the white blanket of snow, everything was just still, I believe God created Winter to be a still season, to reflect on the seasons before and wait, be still before we are renewed and ready to bloom once more.

Winter is so hard for so many of us, it isn’t always a still season, with it comes some unrest but I am reminded of the lyrics to None But Jesus by Hillsong United:

(https://youtu.be/R9qoqQ75ifs

“In the quiet, in the stillness I know that you are God, In the secret of Your presence, I know there I am restored.” Maybe Restored would be a better word for the above picture, that is after all what this season is about restoration until we bloom again!! Rest in the stillness of this season and in Gods presence and in the waiting read chapter 4 of the book of Hebrews!

Week 5: Sunday, March 7th,2021

Meditation

 

 

Photo Credit: Maggie P Photography

Psalms 27:4 NLT

 

4)The one thing I ask of the Lord- the thing I seek the most- is to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, delighting in the Lords perfections and meditating in his Temple.

Many of us thing of a temple as a building with four walls and a door to enter through, not me I think of His creation as a temple as well, He after all created the heavens and earth and all that is in it. A lot of the time I think and meditate on Gods word it is in His setting of nature, maybe by a creek or on a beach or even a lake, water makes me feel at peace and Gods creation helps me reflect and meditate on his word. When things seem to really bog me down I turn to the Psalms , David lead a perfectly imperfect life, David didn’t write all the psalms but he did write many and in the mist of his short comings he found solitude in the words he penned for the psalms. 

Many times I will find myself turning to the psalms for comfort and meditation, when  I feel like I have messed up so bad I turn to Psalm 51:7-17, I won’t write it all out but go look for yourself, I think that as I sometimes feel less than and I am reflecting on what Gods word says this scripture always reminds me of hope and to reflect but not live in our mistakes or short comings, I think the verses I stand on are verses 10 -12 NLT… 10) Create in me a clean heart O God, Renew a loyal spirit within me. 11) Do not banish me from your presence, and don’t take your Holy Spirit from me. 12) Restore to me the JOY of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you. These words are written in and on my heart , it seems like I come back to this scripture often and it brings me a get peace, I reflection on what has happened or what I have done  or could have done differently and ask God to please forgive and create in me a clean heart, to move forward and not look back once I have asked forgiveness not to forget the lesson but to forgive myself as god has forgiven me and move forward.

What are ways you meditate? Is there a special place you go or do you write in a journal. Water has always brought me a peaceful feeling and sometimes it is just what I need to break away from the busyness of life and just meditate on Gods word and my life to that point. Lord allow me to always come to you first and to meditate on the words you have given us, let my life be a God Styled Life. Amen

 

Week 6: Sunday, March 14,2021

Reflection

 

 

Photo Credit: Maggie P Photography

Proverbs 27:19 NLT

19) As a face is reflected in water, so the heart reflects the real person- NLT

 As we walk along the beach I am behind my husband and his stride is reflected in the water, you can make out the strong features of his shadow as he walks. A thought came to me as I was taking this picture of Steve walking on the beach, how does his reflection , reflect his walk with Christ? We tend to judge or recognize a person by their outward appearances but do we see their hearts? I feel the answer is both yes and no. The scriptures tell us we will be know by our fruits, I know my husband loves me he shows it in a thousand tiny ways, from something as small as making me my favorite coffee in the mornings to bigger things like making sure our vehicles are being maintained and that is just a couple, there are so many. Do I see in my husband his love for Christ? yes but I don’t fully know what is in his heart only God knows that.

Walking along the beach I reflect on Gods word and the vastness of His creation, the powerful waves, the habitats of the creatures that live in those waters , the creation story and my personal walk with Christ.  There are times that I also look backwards, sometimes with regret other time in sorrow and sometimes with the thought of how I could do things much differently. I sometimes wonder how others see me and hope that when they do they see the Jesus in me and not so much the person but rather the person God has and continues to create in me.

How do you reflect? Is there a special place you go , is it in nature or a reflection in a mirror? Check in with God today , ask Him to show you what is truly in your heart, if it is something that needs to be removed ,ask God to remove it, pray Psalms51:10-13 Only God knows what is truly in your heart, reflect God in all you say, do and think. Ask forgiveness when you fall short and do your very best in life. Saved to live a God Styled Life.

Week 7: Sunday, March 21st

Bloom

 

 

Photo Credit: Maggie P Photography

Hosea 10:12

12) I said, “Plant the good seeds of righteousness, and you will harvest a crop of love. Plow up the hard ground of your hearts, for now is the time to seek the Lord, that he may come and shower righteousness upon you.

At first glace this picture above makes me think of Bloom where you are planted, or to grow where you stand but I found in Hosea a scripture that may sum it all up, the above scripture explains that we must first plant before we bloom, every flower starts as a seed or a bulb, it gets put into the ground, it must be watered and tended to for it to grow you of course want to plant good seeds, seeds of righteousness (morally right or justifiable), you need to tend to the planting, water them with the word of God and as you do you will see more and more blooms, you will have harvested a crop of what you have planted. 

the above is my most favorite flower of all flowers, Peonies symbolizes  beauty, we are created in God’s image and are beautiful in His sight, when we grow and bloom in Gods love others can’t help but notice the beauty within. One of the other things is that God will use us wherever we are planted. Three years ago we had an opportunity to move to North Carolina, God had prepared our hearts and we were set to make the move but then God changed His mind he kept us right where we were and He made us bloom where we where , growing this ministry, being available to friends who were going through very difficult times, times of loss, God knew if we had moved I wouldn’t have been able to be here full time and be here to help those said friends through those times.

God tells us in the above scripture that we are to plow up the hard soil of our hearts, are there roots of bitterness in your heart, how about shame or anger, what holds you back from fully blooming? Gods word say “Now is the time” He wants us to bloom , to not put off working the roots that hold us down, but weed them out so he can shower us with righteousness.”

What are some of the roots in your life that need to be weeded out so you can bloom? What are ways you can bloom right where you are through the gifts and talents God has given you? We are all created for a purpose, Ephesians 2:10, Grow a God Styled Life and bloom where you are planted!

Week 8: Sunday, March 28th

Dawn

 

Photo Credit: Maggie P Photography

Job 38:14NLT

14)As the light approaches, the earth takes shape like clay pressed beneath a seal; it is robed in brilliant colors.

A few years back I stayed at a friends cabin on their farm, it was a beautiful and very restful stay I was working on an outline for what I thought would be a book, (now this segment) and also doing some writing on a devotional for a retreat , took many photo’s in those couple of days and really leaned into God, I have always felt closer to God in nature and this visit to the cabin on my friends farm was no different, this morning there was a fog that covered everything up but as the sun continued to rise so did the fog and so did mine. 

Things really do have a new perspective when the fog clears, at time things may seem a little hazy, but that is why I was there to get perspective on what I was writing and the plans for the retreat. I learned a lot on this stay about how God makes things clear and how after darkness the is a brilliance of color seen as the sun rises to its peak, I woke up before dawn even approached, this is a working farm and the cabin sits in the middle of the property so I had a prime seat to the earth and all that is in it awakening to a new day, the birds were looking for food, the cows started in to be feed by the time dawn had come around, there was a vast peak of color starting to form under the layers of fog, dew was covering the grass,  plants, and flowers the whole earth was coming to life and along with my camera and coffee I enjoyed the picture God was painting for that day.

My Mom had made me a cross stitch that said “Each Dawn Is A New Beginning” isn’t that true, don’t we get a new beginning each day God wakes us up? In a way it is like a do over, a new dawn to do better than the day before. What will you do with your dawn? will you make it better than yesterday. This week and in the weeks to come, grab a cup of coffee or tea or just a water, go out and face the East and enjoy Gods handy work for the day, close your eyes , listen to the sounds of dawn and pray the word of God, “This is the day the Lord has made I will rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalms 118:24 NLT

Week 9: Sunday, April 4,2021 (Easter Sunday)

 

 

Transforming

 

 

Photo Credit: Maggie P Photography

 

Matthew 17:2 NLT

As the men watched, Jesus appearance was transformed so that his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as light.

Every year for the past 3 years my husband has put out these lanterns at Christmas, that is when the birds start to build their nest, by the first signs things transform into usually 5 eggs in the nest, and before you know it there are baby birds chirping away and begging to be feed. Spring time is like that after the cold of the Winter and settling in until warmer weather returns and transforms everything, birds who were nesting are now laying their eggs, flowers are staring to pop out of the ground after a Winters rest underground, things start turning green again and gentle rains come and give moisture to those beautiful plants and flowers.

This time of year that isn’t the only transformation, the season of Lent lends way to the 3 days that radically changes lives for ever, Jesus suffered so much for us on the cross , taking on our sin offering and carrying it into the future of all sins by all people that live for Christ, the whole world. There has not been or is today a greater sacrifice than this. God gave His ONLY son to take away the sins of this world. But there is hope because after 3 days God transformed His son and allowed Him to show himself to those who were closest to him and show them that is is the way, the truth and the light. Could you imagine seeing God the way it is described in the above passage? Forever changed, transformed into the image of God! 

There will come a day when we will meet Jesus face to face, will our lives be transformed in reverence to the sacrifice God made of the cross? How can we transform our lives here and now to reflect Christ?  What will you give God today? not many of us , probably none of us would sacrifice our children, but what are you willing to give up today to live a life pleasing to God? 16) For god so loved the world He gave his only son.” John3:16NLT.

Week 10: Sunday, April 11,2021

 

 

Overflowing

 

 

Photo Credit: Maggie P Photography

1Thessalonians 3:12 NLT

12)And may the Lord make your love for one another and for all people grow and overflow, just as our love for you overflows.

 As I look at the picture above reminds me of the song by Cory Asbury called reckless Love follow the link here to listen to it: https://video.search.yahoo.com/search/video?fr=mcafee&ei=UTF-8&p=Christian+songs+that+have+the+words+%22overflowing+love%22&type=E211US1249G0#id=3&vid=3daace2dc001e849b0cf25f903700b88&action=view

Really listen to the words of the song, in the song it talks about Gods overwhelming love for us, another over word, The fountain overflows  but seems to never end, one of the lines in the song above this ” oh the overwhelming, never ending reckless love of god, He chases me down fights till I’m found , leaves the 99.” That to me describes overflowing love that never ends.  Overflowing love is a big deal to God, love is a big deal to God and His love is overflowing upon us always.

 It is a big thought to think that even if I were the only human on earth , he still would have sacrificed His ONLY son for me, that is a overflowing love that never ends. Our love for God and others should overflow in us, sharing Gods love and what He has done for us is out purpose and mission in this world, I know in todays world that can be hard, but we are required to love one another just as God has loved us. In 1Corinthians 13:13 it says” Three things will last forever – faith, hope and love and the greatest of these is love.”

All through out the bible love is talked about, you could say the bible is overflowing with love… my attempt at humor. Another song from VBS days is “I’ve got the Joy down in my heart.” My personality is joy filled and joy overflows in me, sometimes it drives others crazy because I tend to look at things from a positive, glass half-full, joy overflowing view, for those who view life a the glass half-empty, we overflowing joy types can drive them crazy.

What brings you overflowing joy and love for others?  Are you overflowing with the blessings and provisions of God? Remember the scripture above “God will make our love for other people and all people grow and overflow.” Let us all be saved to serve an overflowing God Styled Life!

Week 11: Sunday, April 18,2021

 

 

Anticipation

 

 

Photo credit: Maggie P Photography

Philippians 4:6-7

Do you ever go through a tunnel and wonder what is around the bend or the other side? I do and did this photo was taken in North Carolina, we had never been before so every bend in the road was anticipation for what would come next, sometimes anxious because we didn’t know if there would be a rock slide as the signs posted said. We had to trust god for what was next even when we couldn’t see it. This reminds me of the scripture in Philippians 4:6; “6) Don’t worry about anything instead; instead, pray about everything. Tell god what you need and thank him for all he has done.”

I know we were saying our prayers but at the same time we enjoyed the journey, sometimes you can anticipate something new but be a little worried about what is ahead, you see on our first trip to North Carolina we were there to see about a job, one that would require a move, we anticipated what God would have for us there and we did a whole lot of praying before hitting the road, I think this time in our lives God just wanted us to be ready, that trip brought us back for one that would be for pleasure, but still we have to trust god for what is to come. My husband did not get the transfer God had prepared for us but the greater lesson was trusting God for the outcome and being obedient to what and where God was calling us.

Anticipation can also bring along worry with it, the unknown about what is around the bend, but when we pray God answers those prayers, then we experience God’s peace in Philippians   4:7 it says “7)Then you will experience Gods peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and mind as you live in Christ Jesus.

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Week 12: Sunday, April 25,2021

Perseverance

Photo Credit: Maggie P Photography

1Timothy 6:11

Thirty year ago this man and I exchanged vows promising to love one another for better or worse, richer or poor, in sickness and in health and we have seen all of those and yet we still persevere. I know I love Steve even more than I did the day I married him, don’t get me wrong there has been a lot of perseverance in our marriage, trials have come our way that at the time seemed to impossible to over come but with patience and a great deal of love and perseverance we have come very far in thirty years.

I have heard this saying but I am not sure who to give credit to but it goes like this ” marriage is not fifty/fifty divorce is, marriage is one hundred percent all the time from both parties doing their very best.” It is true you both have to be willing to give of yourselves and learn to compromise. I am no expert on marriage all I can tell you is what Steve and I have endured, we have had all sorts of seasons in our marriage but one thing that has always stood true is that we didn’t give up, we may get upset and even have a disagreement but we always worked it out in the end.

There was a very dark season we went through and I have to be honest I wasn’t for sure we would make it, the details are not important, I think we both had come to the end of the status quo and just gave up but did we really because here we are after coming through one of the darkest season and we are stronger than ever, we had a really strong, seasoned Christian couple help guide us through some of the rougher waters of that season, one of the things that broke me during this time is in my disobedience to God I could not hear His still small voice, I knew more than hurting my marriage I was hurting God even more, I was a sold out Gods girl who went way off the deep end and drowned in sin. I was the sinner in this case and my husband loved me through my sin enough to fight for us.

WE have and continue to have persevered and continue to love, our marriage is far from perfect but whose is? We both thank God for seeing us through and allowing us to persevere and to continue to love one another just as God loves us. Is there a season in your life have you felt alone and couldn’t hear God? How do you feel in those dark seasons, how about in season of small struggles, is there a difference in the two?

While I don’t claim to have the answers or feel I am qualified to council, I can tell you our experience of perseverance and how we continue to do so. Allow god to lead and follow where He takes you, trust and have faith that God alone is in control.

Week 13: Sunday, May 2,2021

 

Focus

 

 

Photo Credit: Maggie P Photography

Focus Book, Mug and Datebook by Mary & Martha

Philippians 3:13- 14

“No dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but i focus on one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead,14) I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.”

May is National Mental Health Month and I don’t know about all of you but those of us with mental health issues have trouble focusing on what is ahead because we are trying to untangle the past and figure out why we have arrived at the tangled mess we sometimes drown in. I am not a mental health professional in any way, shape or form.

I am a patient of a very good therapist who’s guidance has helped me start to understand my past choices and learn to focus forward, about three years ago I wanted to end my life with a period instead of with a semi-colon, I was in a place where I didn’t think it mattered if I was here or not, I contemplated taking a hand full of pills and washing them down with a mixture of alcohol. Those were some of my darkest days, I chose to have myself admitted to a mental health facility and it was there I learned that these things had been brewing under the surface for a long time, I had childhood trauma that has had a lasting effect and has played a part in who I am now,  it started in childhood and carried through until adulthood.

So what does all this have to do with focus? Sometimes we do have to look back to see where we have come from and and determine what brought us there, I think how this ties into the above scripture is this, it is okay and sometimes necessary to look back but it is never a good idea to set up camp and live there. Because of my diagnosis I have been prescribed medication to help with my issues, I fought this for a long time and I also fought seeking help, as I am working forward with my issues, I am pressing forward to reach the end of the race having used all the gifts and talents God has given me. But no dear brothers and sisters I have not achieve it, yet I press on! I am looking ahead to a balanced life one where my body and brain work together instead of against each other, I know that day will come soon as I continue to press on.

What are things you have to look back on? is it childhood hurt, loss, grief, job loss? Keep your eyes on the prize and trust God to see you through all things. I know this can be easier said than done, I like what it says in Philippian’s 4:13 ” I can do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens me.” I like to add EVEN THIS!

Lord God we thank you so much for how far we have come , we know there are season’s of are life we have to look back on but still press forward toward you, help us over come obstacles that keep us stuck and free us from the shackles that bind us. In your name we pray this , Amen,

Week 14: Sunday, May 9th,2021

 

Direction

Photo Credit: Maggie P Photography

Psalms 119:57-60

57 Lord, you are mine!
    I promise to obey your words!
58 With all my heart I want your blessings.
    Be merciful as you promised.
59 I pondered the direction of my life,
    and I turned to follow your laws.
60 I will hurry, without delay,
    to obey your commands.

Knowing the direction of my life and where it is going can be daunting at times, I feel like the sign in the above picture, which way should I go , sometimes I even feel like I am being pulled in many directions, but God is teaching me to slow down and really listen to His still small voice for where He is directing me to go. In this day and age of  instant gratification, we forget to slow down and ponder, ponder our futures, our days , our schedules, are they the best choices we can make, how does it align with what God has for us? Do we obey Gods word and follow His commands to the very best of our abilities?

Technology has come a long way over the past 10 years , we now have GPS to get us where we want to go but what happens when that technology isn’t updated? I will tell what happens, you end up at a lake instead of the mall. The Bible is like a GPS it helps navigate life and what God has for us, when we lose that connection  we break our communication with God and life pulls us or rather the world pulls us in many directions. What direction are you going away from or towards God? The world will try in every way to turn your direction its way but Gods word says, I am the way ,the truth and the light, no one comes to the Father except through me. Start the direction of your day towards God, ask Him to show you what needs to be done in your day, help you at work and at resting, be focused on the needs of others, let God direct your days and nights and give Him praise for all He has done.

Being pulled in many directions can be overwhelming, first thing every morn start by thanking God for waking you up, ask for prayers on others behalf and ask God to direct your steps for the day. 

Father God, Thank you so much for giving us directions through your word and helps us to follow them each and every day, guide our steps and make our paths known to us and lead us in your everlasting ways. Amen

 

 

 

 

Week 15: Sunday, May 16th,2021

Guidance

 

Photo Credit: Maggie P Photography

Proverbs 4: 1-27 Focus verse:2

for I am giving you good guidance.
    Don’t turn away from my instructions.

Just as a lighthouse gives guidance to ships and boats at night so does the words of God both in the day and night, one thing you can count on is 24/7 availability to Gods word, The definition of guidance is direction, advice or something that instructs. We should always take Gods instruction seriously, the book of Proverbs has a lot of wisdom within its pages. In Proverbs 4:verses 4 & 5 it says: ” My Father taught me “Take my word to heart. Follow my commands, and you will live. Get wisdom; develop good judgement. Don’t forget my words or turn away from them.”

Our souls are made for eternity but while here on earth we should follow Gods guidance and instruction, the above verse repeat verse 2 but in a different way, God thought it was important enough that He wants to be sure we understand just how important His guidance and instructions are, we must trust His word to guide us through life and lead us on the right paths. Remember the story of Peter walking on the water, how he asked God if it was really Him to ask him to get out of the boat, Peter did so as long as he kept his eyes on Jesus he was fine, Jesus gave him guidance but then Peter took his eyes off Jesus and he began to sink, okay I am paraphrasing this story but you get my point, Gods word is here to guide us and when we take our eyes off Him we start to go blindly on our own path and not the path God choses for us. Like the lighthouse at night guiding the ships around rocks and some into port, God lights our way with His word and guides us through life.

What ways can you trust God to guide you? are you walking the path God has set before you?

Lord, may we trust your guidance and not turn away from your instruction, let us follow the narrow path you have set before each of us. Amen

Week 16, Sunday, May 23rd,2021

 

 

Patina

Photo Credit: Maggie P Photography

1 Peter 3:4

You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God.

What does this word mean you ask? noun 1)a green or brown film on the surface of bronze or similar metals, produced by oxidation over a long period. 2)a gloss or sheen on a surface resulting from age or polishing. 3) the impression or appearance of something.   We are going to use the third definition as our focus but I want to tie in the other definitions as well: So our verse above speaks to the beauty that is within, just as the impression we leave with others so to is the importance of what is within us, Gods word says 4)”we should clothe ourselves with the beauty that is within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God.” according to this scripture our beauty comes from within, but what about the impression we leave in this world , do people see Jesus in us not just from the inside but do we have an outward presence of God about us?

If we have been Christ followers for any time period there is something different about us, it is had to explain but as best I can, I will try to sum up what I mean; the first definition of Patina is a green or brown film on the surface of bronze or similar metals, produced by oxidation over a long period. Oxidation is defined as a process in which a chemical substance changes because of the addition of oxygen. [technical] Carbon dioxide is a necessary result of the oxidation of carbon compounds. God created oxygen for us to breath and changes are made in the metal because of the addition of oxygen, we can’t speak God breathed words without oxygen just as metal can’t change without the addition of oxygen.

There are many people that shine from the outside in as Christ followers. you know the types , they are not perfect but they have the peace of God that shows outwardly as well as on the inside, it is not just a inside heart thing it shows outwardly as well. I strive to be like that but it doesn’t always appear that way sometimes I let the world get in and corrupt my way of seeing life and outwardly I appear negative and well just plain grouchy, my heart is is not sowing seeds of the word in those moments and therefore my outward person shows that too. We can’t be perfect but we can strive to be more Christ like in our lives. Let your light shine outward for all the world to see.

God is seen not just on the inside of us but on the outside too, Does our life have a gloss or sheen? Has God been been polishing you through the years? Does our life reflect the polishing of His spirit? In light of God how do we appear to others?, do they know we are Christ followers by our Patina(impression or appearance)? Focus on the inside not the outside, because what is in your heart will always shine through.

Lord it is not about me but you, help me to have a life that is lived both inside and out, may others see me in light of you and your God breathed word. May your peace shine upon me and show others you truly are the way, the truth and the light! Amen.

 

 

Week 17, Sunday, May 30th

 

 

Comfort

 

Photo Credit: Maggie P Photography

2 Corinthians 1:4

He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.

(This pups favorite comfy spot when he is at his puppy Mama’s store)

Comfort is something we all seek, we take comfort in many things like that first cup of coffee in the morning, or the fact that God has woke you up for another day of life, we take comfort in our times of trouble when others surround us to comfort us, even when in pain we get comfort from medication that helps ease the pain we are feeling.

Comfort has two meanings according to the Merriam-Webster the first is  1) A state of physical ease or constraint. 2) The easing or alleviation of a persons feeling of grief or distress. We are going to focus on the second one for now. A few years back I had two friends go through major life events both dealing with loss, loss of any kind is still a loss, at the time my husband and I were in the process of trying to get a transfer to Hickory, North Carolina, I was so sure we were going to get it, anyway these two events happed at the same time in the mist of the prospect of moving, but God knew best, if we had got the transfer we would have been gone already and I would have been coming back to my hometown to be with these friends but not be able to stay and help them through the difficult times they faced. Would they have made it through without me , yes of course but God knew we needed to stay, these are two of my very best friends and I thank God every day that he kept us here in Indiana.

Since that time we all have had times to comfort one another and those same friends plus a few more saw me through and continue to see me through a dark time. God is my greatest comforter, as the scripture says God gives comfort in our troubles so we to can comfort others just as He has comforted us. This tribe of sisters in Christ is my inner circle of trusted comforters and I am so blessed and thankful that God has placed them in my life.

One of my favorite quotes is by an unknown source, it goes like this ” God didn’t put us on this earth to see through one another, but to see one another through.”

What are some ways you like to be comforted? What ways do you comfort others? If you feel you don’t what are some ways you can start to do so? Comfort isn’t always being there in person, it is reaching out with a phone call, a card or a note just letting others know you are there and you care about them.

Lord, as we come to you today help us always remember the needs of other and how others have remembered our needs and given comfort in those times. Bring comfort to those who are hurting and those who have lost. Help us to reach out and comfort those in need just as you comfort us. Amen.

Week 18: Sunday, June 6th, 2021

Rejoice

Photo Credit: Maggie P Photography

John 4:24

This is the day the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it.

Psalms 118:24

 

Maybe many of you can relate to this, I love that time of day as the sun is coming up, the birds are waking up and are in search of food for their young, after a quiet night the whole world comes alive again, a new day is dawning. I suffer from physical health issues that don’t allow me to wake up both Gods creation just show I can watch the morning show God puts on everyday, but on those occasions when he does it makes for extra rejoicing. Just the fact that God wakes me up each and every day is a gift in its self but always extra special when I can watch the sunrise and at the end of each day watch the sunset.

In my office where I write from there is a big picture window that overlooks our backyard and it is there where there is the most activity in the mornings birds flocking to the feeders, squirrels looking for food and playing chase with one another, as I am writing this I saw a bunny from the front porch across the street at my neighbors house. God is every where I look and I praise and rejoice in each new day, they are never the same! 

What is your favorite time of day? Do you enjoy greeting the day with nature? I have rocking chairs on my front porch and it faces the east so I watch the sunrise and in the evening on that same front porch I can see the sunset, I rejoice in God handiwork both the rising and the setting of the sun. I encourage you to find a special place to talk to God as I said ten of the twelve months in a year I do that from my front porch. Find your special spot , read a devotion or two , drink coffee or tea which ever you prefer and talk to God at the start of the day and thank Him at the end of the day. You will be glad you did!

Lord, this is the day you have made for us, you have great plans for today, help us to go to you for guidance and let us always be thankful and rejoice in each new day from sun up to sun down. Amen.

 

Week 19,Sunday, June 13th,2021

Refuge

Photo Credit: Maggie P Photography

Psalms 91:1-2

Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

This I declare about the Lord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; He is my God, and I trust Him.

We seek shelter from the storms that come our way in life, no matter if they are physical storms like tornados, hurricanes and such or if they are emotional or mental storms, where do we go to seek refuge in these times? hopefully you answered God for that question. Verse two of the above scripture says it all the question is do we believe it or do we try to weather the storms without Gods presence. 

There was a time where I thought I could handle whatever came my way and not consider God in the equation, I put him in the back ground and didn’t seek the refuge He freely offers basically I didn’t trust Him enough to believe he has my back, always in all ways. When things would get rough and I had enough of trying to handle life on my own I would then cry out to Him and fall into His arms figuratively of course, I would seek refuge from the world, from life its self, I could have saved myself a whole lot of trouble if I had just took refuge in God and trusted Him.

What do you need to take refuge from in your life? Do you fully trust God or are you only giving Him a portion of your life? The verses above tell us He is more than able to protect us , we should fully rely on His shelter, His safety and we should fully trust Him.

Lord, Help us to fully trust you to fall under the shadow of your wings, to find shelter and refuge in you for  You are our God and there is no other than you!

 

Week 20: Sunday ,June 20th

Father

Photo Credit: Maggie P Photography

Psalms 103:13

The Lord is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him.

My earthly Father was not always tender or compassionate but yet I knew he loved me, he wasn’t around much growing up the Army owned his life for Twenty-Four years, I am not complaining , it gave us a lot of experiences we wouldn’t have had otherwise. The majority of my childhood I had an unhealthy fear of my Dad, even when he wasn’t present in my life. By the time he retired I was a sassy teenager who resented his interfering in my life when he wasn’t there for most of it. 

Why do I state these negative facts, because they are just that facts, no woah is me, it is just fact, God was not only my heavenly father but my earthly one for a long time, what I am happy to say is that today Dad and I have a much better relationship and understand each other better than we once did. After the death of my Mom which was sudden, I had vowed not to let things go unsaid and to repair the relationship I have with my dad. I praise God that we have done so and while there are thing we agree to disagree on we have many more commonalities than we used to, I praise God for restoring our relationship before he passes on so we can be closer than we once were.

Today I have a much more healthy fear of God, at one time I thought God to be like my earthly father was in the early days of our relationship, I now know God is tender and compassionate and so is my earthly Dad. What is your view of your earthly Father verses your Heavenly Father? Do you see them in the same light? Do you honor both?

Lord, forgive me for not fully trusting you when I was younger in view of how my earthly father was in the early days of my life. I love and trust you fully and love and trust my Dad as well. Thank you for filling in the gap when I needed it and thank you for restoring my relationship with my Dad. Amen.

 

Week 21: Sunday, June 27, 2021

 

 

Blessed

Photo Credit: Maggie P Photography

Matthew 5:3-12

The Beatitudes

In these verses God blesses and provides for the poor, the mourning, the humble, hungry and thirsty for justice, for the merciful, pure of heart, those who work for peace, those who are persecuted for doing right, who are lied about and evil is done towards them. Be happy about it, be very glad for a great reward waits for you in Heaven!!

Meanwhile here on earth, we are not happy about it, we are not very glad. In verse twelve it goes on to tell us remember the prophets who were persecuted in the same way. These verses should give us a hope that what we face here on earth will be rewarded in Heaven but we get mad when we feel like we are being persecuted or lied to. God has got this and these verses are proof that he does, each thing listed is His promise to the believer who follows after God and exhibits these qualities. 

These acts are what make a God Styled Life and honor God in the process, no matter where we are in life or how much we do or don’t have, we are given much more than we deserve and are blessed beyond measure, now mind you this is just Maggie P’s take on these verses, you may have a completely different take but what speaks to my heart may not to yours , so dig in deep to find the meaning God would have for you. 

An example of what I am trying to say is this, several months ago , like so many of us last year , my husband was let go of his job, he applied for unemployment and got it, please don’t say negative things about unemployment that is not what this is about, it is about God provision, weather you agree or disagree it was a provision we really needed at the time, I feel two ways about the same thing but what I do know is that we couldn’t have made it without that provision, my husband is sixty-four and that is making it hard for him to find work as a last resort he may have to flip burgers for a living, he does have a part-time job and that helps. All this to say God has blessed us in this time of uncertainty and for that we are very grateful and blessed.

Do you fully trust God even when you don’t see a way through your current situation? Do you feel blessed even when you lack? God is the great provider, will you fully trust Him today?

Lord, thank you so much for the many blessings , for your reminders through out the Beatitudes, it is like a spiritual guide to help us through this life here on earth regardless of where we are at in life. Let us always be humbled and consider ourselves blessed no matter where we are in life. With a little or a lot you always provide just what we need.

Week 22: July, 4, 2021

 

 

Freedom

Photo Credit: Maggie P Photography

1Thessalonians 5:12-13

Happy Birthday America! and thank you to those who fought and are fighting for our freedom. Something we don’t see much of any more is our soldiers, those serving both here in the United States of America and over seas to keep us a free nation. These days we are so busy fighting with one another about history and what has made America the nation it is. There are chapters in our history that none of us will forget and some that we want to forget but if you are a Christ follower then you know God never allows something to happen that He want get glory from, in other words we either trust God for the out come or we don’t He knew what would happen in all of history before it even happened.

It makes me sad to see us fighting over who’s life matters, we are all made in the image of God, we all matter. the flag doesn’t just make a statement piece it stands for the freedom we have in this country and for those who have and those who are fighting for it. Let’s stop fighting each other and start uniting by praying for our country, our nations leaders, for the men and women who serve our country, for our pastors, our church families and for the United States of America. God Bless The U.S.A

Lord, help us as a country to stop fighting one another and start being a united country again, to come in your name and pray for our leaders, government, men and women serving our country and pastors, priest, rabbi’s and other spiritual leaders. We don’t always have to agree with one another, we can agree to disagree but let’s stop fighting one another. We ask that you help us find commonalities and help us to build a better place for future generations. 

Week 23, Sunday, July 11, 2021

Peaceful

Photo Credit: Maggie P Photography

John 16:33

 

 This photo reminds me of peace, I am not sure why but there is something peaceful flying above the clouds, everything below is so small and the clouds look like waves of an ocean, even above the earth you still see there is more to the heavens than where you are at in the clouds, the sun still shines above us and it makes for a peaceful picture. Below are trials and sorrows but here above the clouds is peace.

When flying below the clouds you can see all the chaos going on below, the higher we flew the more relaxed and peacefulness came, I am having trouble explaining it so let’s take a look at the meanings of both peace and tranquility.

Peace: for all practical purposes we will use its first meaning, 1) freedom from disturbance; tranquility. Tranquil: means free from disturbance; calm so you see peace and tranquility are both freedom from disturbance. I look in awe of Gods creation and wonder what is above the clouds we are above, how much closer is God? In moments like this I feel peaceful and enjoy the beauty of creation around me, I feel Gods presence within His creation.

Sometimes just looking at a picture will evoke a feeling of peacefulness and remind me God is always near by, just look around you and you will know this fact. As I said earlier it reminds me of the waves in the ocean  and those bring a sense of peace to me as well. Gods world has a rhythm, a way of reminding us that God is here with us we just need to stand still and listen.

What brings you peace? how does God remind you He is here with you? Do you sense that through His creation?

Father God, thank you for the reminders that you are always close by, for a peace that passes all understanding, and the tranquility we can find in our day to day lives. Please be with us through this week and help us find those moment that are undisturbed, to find a place of peace and tranquility if even for a moment in our days ahead this week. Thank you for all you do for us. In your name we pray this. Amen.

 

Week 24: Sunday, July 18, 2021

Sanctuary

Photo Credit: Maggie P Photography

Psalms 61:4

Let me live forever in your sanctuary, safe beneath the shelter of your wings!

Sanctuary means a refuge or safety from pursuit, persecution or other danger. How does this tie in to the into picture above? This is our front porch a safe place that leads into our home which is also a safe place. You see after you step off the front porch you step into the craziness of the world, I know there is a lot of good in the world but sometimes we forget we are not created for the world as Christ followers, we need the safe place of home , a sanctuary from all things outside our doors, off our porches.

The front porch is one of my most favorite places to sit and be in Gods word, to watch and listen to His creation come to life in the mornings and view His artwork at the setting of the sun, I do have to step off the porch for the latter but I never stray to far from the porch to see the sunset. I love being in Gods word from my front porch especially in the early morning hours , listening to nature wake up and begin a new day, it is a promise of a fresh start to a new day and I am thankful for each new day God gives me.

There is something about the front porch and the inside of my home that make me feel safe to be who I am , to be loved unconditionally by God and my family, I love being in my home or on my front porch and as soon as we can our patio. These are place that God has made me feel safe in this world because when I step off the front porch, I step into the world and sometimes it can be curl , but I always remember, God created beauty in our world too and I need to enjoy more of it and not just from the sanctuary of my front porch, I must trust God to be my sanctuary in this world as well.

Lord, help me to lose my fears of the unknown of the world outside my front porch and let me welcome the beauty of the earth that you put there for us to enjoy. Let my fear of the bad be replaced by your goodness and beauty. In your name I pray this. Amen

 

Week 25: Sunday, July 25,2021

 

Reborn

 

Photo Credit: Maggie P Photography

John 1:12-13

But to all who believe in Him and accepted Him, he gave the right to become children of God. They are reborn, not with physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God. 

 

Do you know the quote from Chuang Tzu Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly.” This reminds me of how we become a new creature in Christ when we make the choice to become a child of God. In John 1 12-13 it talks about those who became believers were now children of God, reborn , not in a physical birth but as a new creation in Christ. This is of course my paraphrasing, but you get the idea.

I do remember when I was baptized, I came up out of the water feeling new, , it was a wonderful feeling! I have since that moment tried to live my life for God but there was a season I had wondered far from God, He didn’t move but I did and in that season it scared me because I could no longer hear Gods voice, that was what moved me to reconnect to him and be reborn to my commitment to God, I relied heavily on Psalm 51:1-13, I still to this day go back to that scripture and re read it over and over in those times I feel like I am getting off the path a little God is always there and if you look around you will see it, if you think about times in your life things have happened and there was no hope but then God…  There is no way but through the Father we can be reborn again, a death of our will given over to Gods will.

The above saying really is a clear picture of how God creates in us a new life by dying to our old one without him. Have you given it all to God? He has got this and He always will just allow Him in.

Lord help us to lose the idea of thinking we can do all things in our own strength, let us be reminded it is only through you our lives are made new again and we are reborn new creatures in Christ when we give you our all. Amen

Week 26: Sunday, August 1,2021

 

Noisy

Photo Credit: Maggie P Photography

1 Corinthians 13:1

If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.

Imagine everyone speaking in a languages at the same time and then add gongs and cymbals it would be so loud you could not think straight, that is what I think of when I look at the above picture on a windy day like the day we visited this place , a pizza place just outside of Gainesville, Florida, it was loud and we had to speak over it to hear one another. Now that is not what this scripture is speaking of , I believe it is speaking of the love for others or the lack there of.  

There was a time way back in my life when someone had a great hate for me, I am an easy going, go with the flow most of the time kind of gal, I have learned to speak up when wronged, but this person really hated me , her words not mine, the truth of the matter is I think she had a deeper hate for herself that she took it out on everyone else. The greatest commandment God gave us id to love one another and if that love is missing you can tell it in the way a person speaks to you or others, their words mean nothing because love is not behind them and most times they wound us .

Are you a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal , has life hurt you so bad that you take it out on others? Ask God to sew love into your heart and if you haven’t given your life to Him , allow Him to be the one to heal you from your hurts.

Lord, help us to always show love to others, to sew love into our hearts, let us give you our hurts and not be noisy gongs or clanging cymbals . Help us Lord to love our neighbors as ourselves. Amen.

Week 27: August 8, 2021

Adventure

 

Photo Credit: Maggie P Photography

Today is one of my closest and dearest friend’s birthday, her 75th to be exact, I tell her all the time I want to be her when I grow up, she has more energy than I have in my little finger, her favorite thing to do is have adventures! Friday evening I called her and told her to pack an overnight bag we are going on an adventure, I wouldn’t tell her where until we were on the road and she had made a few guesses. We ended up in Elizabethtown, Kentucky. There wasn’t anything available in the destination I really wanted to take her, but we had fun never the less.

I wanted to take her to another friends shop, she has two , one in Elizabethtown and one in Glendale, our biggest adventure, was trying to find the shop in Elizabethtown, oh my I bet we know every road in between where it is at and where it is not. We laughed, took pictures, and celebrated a life well lived. You see this friend of mine had been hit pretty hard with a lot of health issues for her family and herself , she needed an adventure to vacate her life if just for a few hours, it tickled me and made me extremely happy that God blessed us both with a bit of a break and was extremely joyful at her responds to her surprise adventure. 

We are not promised tomorrow and this is the only life we get, add adventure to your life, it doesn’t have to be a big thing, sometimes for me it is just taking the backroads not knowing where they will end up or exploring a park  or little town with cute little shops, no matter what it is make it an adventure!

Lord, thank you so much for blessing us with this adventure , we made memories that will last a life time , help us to find the adventure in this life you have given us. In your name we pray, Amen.

 

Week 28: Sunday, August 15,2021

Tangled

Photo Credit: Maggie P Photography

Exodus 4:10 NLT

But Moses pleaded with the Lord, “O Lord, I’m not very good with words. I never have been, and I’m not now, even though you have spoken to me. I get tongue-tied and my words get tangled.”

In my mind I know how to craft my words just as a spider knows how to spin it’s web, but some how from my brain to my mouth every thing get tangled and comes out like a tangled mess. My mind feels like this spider web most times there are a hundred thoughts going through my mind and it is just a matter of catching one and staying on that thread of thought. I wish I had the picture that a friend had posted of the huge spider web in their back yard, Gods creation is amazing to me how he gives us each a special way to process our thoughts, I wonder what the spider was thinking or if it even thinks but does what it was created to automictically. 

I think we all throw around the term Tongue-tied, in my way of thinking it is a way to describe my brain  and my words, they go from my brain to my tongue and they try to come out but they are all tangled up, I feel like Moses even sometimes when I write my thoughts get tangled I know what I want to say but it just doesn’t come out right.

So how do I tie up this post , we all experience Moses moment, times where our brains and mouth do not want to cooperate with one another, but we can rest assured God will take our thoughts and words and use them for His glory, we just need to trust him for the out come.

Lord, help me in those times when my thoughts and words get tangled up together, help me to take a deep breath and tune into what you would have me to say. In you name we pray this. Amen.

 

Week 29: Sunday, August, 22,2021

Sisters

Photo Credit: Maggie P Photography

Philippians 3:13 NLT

No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead.

You might be wondering what this scripture has to do with being sisters, the above picture is of me and my sister, my only blood related sister. You see my sister at a very young age ran extremely high fevers and has some developmental delays, one of the things is that she tends to live in the past, well she used to she has come a very long way and is doing very well these days but when our Mom was alive she would tell my sister to not look backwards you are not going that way. years later it finally stuck with her. 

She has really come a long way and she has forgotten the past and looks forward to what lies ahead. I am super proud of the woman she has become and she has also overcome some of her fears, like being in the ocean or in the water at the bay, she paddle boards for Special Olympics in many sports and when our Mom was alive for several years she coached Volley Ball and Basket Ball for my sisters team. I am so glad my sister is an overcomer , she is amazing and sometimes I feel like she Mother’s me but I don’t mind. I am super proud to call her family.

Lord, Help me lean into this scripture and follow suite with leaving the past behind, help me to lean on you everyday and please bless my family with health, provisions and peace. In your name I pray this . Amen

Week 30: Sunday, August 29,2021

Narrow

Photo Credit: Maggie P Photography

Matthew 7: 13-14

“You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. but the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.

The path through this this gate is very narrow and overgrown with beautiful flowers, but this picture has always reminded me of the above scripture, if you are a Christ follower then we should desire to follow closely the words of God, to stay on the narrow path he has laid before each of us, in this scripture it also warns us of the other option, hell. I don’t know about you but that is not a place I want to go, not even for a visit. God lays a narrow path for each of us , it is personalized by Him especially for us, it was laid out for us before we were even born, everybody’s path is different but if we follow Gods narrow path for us we will end up in the same destination.

I haven’t done this in a good while but I love to go hike the trails in a park in the town I live in, there are very narrow parts to that trail system, in a lot of places you must put one foot in front of the other to make it through, isn’t that how God wants us to do put one foot in front of the other not to run ahead but enjoy the journey to get where you are going. God gives us a map of how to stay on the narrow path, it is called the bible and there are many scriptures that will take us where God want us we just have to listen and follow and we have to stay on the narrow path God has made just for us as individuals.

Lord, sometimes I loose sight of the direction I need to go , help me to stay on the narrow path you have created just for me. In your name I pray this. Amen.

Week 31: Sunday, September 5th,2021

Change

Photo Credit: Maggie P Photography

James 1:16-18

So don’t be misled, my dear brothers and sisters. Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or cast a shifting shadow. He chose to give birth to us by giving us his true word. And we, out of all creation, became his prized possession.

In our lives there are many seasons of change, some are happy, some sad and some are just inevitable, but the one constant is God, He is the same today, tomorrow and yesterday and in a world that changes all the time  this is a comfort to know God doesn’t , as the scripture above says He created the lights in heaven, I think of it this way, God created night with the light of stars and the morning with the light of the sun each day we have sunrise and sunset and that is a constant. 

Change is a constant just like this photo of the dome needle at the West Baden Spring Hotel in West Baden Springs, Indiana, it is a must see when visiting Southren Indiana, it is a beautiful sight to behold , my friend and I before Covid hit loved to go and get a cup of coffee and just listen to the music playing and watch the Dome change colors, it is an example of a good change the colors are brighter than the one before and the shades change each time the color changes.  We need to be like the colors of the dome, when God brings change in our lives we need to shine brighter and let others know we are trusting God for the better in any season of change.

How do you deal with the changes in your life? Do you dread change, do you seek God in those season? Do you trust God for the better? I know change can be hard and not always something to look forward to but God holds us in the palm of His hand and alwas has our very best interest at heart, so trust God for the journey of change in your lives.

Lord, we know changes will happen in life , help us to trust you in that season/journey and fully rely on you, knowing you always have our best at heart and something better to come. In your name we pray this. Amen.

 

 

Week 32: Sunday, September 12, 2021

 

 

Light

 

 

Photo Credit: Maggie P Photography

Psalm 119:105

Thy word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path. NLT

When I am editing photos I love to play with the light, how it can make somethings brighter or darker, but in gods word it reveals everything we need to know in both light and darkness. think aboout this way you go on a walk as the sun is starting to set , you bring along a flashlight because you know it will be dark before you arrive back from your walk, you use the light from the flashlight to guide you back to you orignal starting point because now the sun has set and you can’t see without that light. Gods word shines a light to guide our way, to put one foot infront of the other along this path we call life.

Without light we would not be able to see or know exactly what direction to go, so too is the word of God, His word gives us direction in our lives and shows us where we should go and also where we should not go. There was a song called Thy Word by Amy Grant and one of the verses went  like this; “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and alight unto my path,nothing will I fear as long as you are here please be with me until the end.” I want to know at the end of my life that God always guided my feet and lighted the paths I was meant to take throughout my life.

Are you letting God be your light and guide through this life? if not it is never to late to do so!

 

Week 33, Sunday, September 19,2021

 

Hiding

 

 

Photo Credit: Maggie P Photography

Psalm 32:7

For you are my hiding place; you protect me from trouble. You surround me with songs of victory. NLT

When I was a little girl I would love to play hide and seek with my cousin’s and neighbors, if it was getting dark we would use flashlights to find one another. Those were the days that kids would play outside in the Summer months from sunrise to sunset, I loved when we moved here to Indiana from Colorado on to my Grandparents farm until our house was ready to move into. There were alot of places to hide on the farm and my cousin Lisa and I being the two oldest would give the younger cousins a run for their money.

Have you ever felt like you wanted to hide from the world, or from people? I have and it is a very loney and isolating place to be. Hiding from anything is never a good idea because sooner or later we have to face what we hide from, however what this passage of scriptuure is saying is that sometimes God is our hiding place, he is our protector and He promises HE will never leave us or forsake us. Gods word is a good place to hide , there is something for everything we face in life and God is a good listener, He will fight for us and protect us. He will allow victory and freedom.

What do you need to hide from with God? is there a situation you need to deal with? Let God help you and hide and protect you while you figure it out. He is after all your hiding place, He will protect you and make you victorious!

Week 34, Sunday, September 26,2021

Faith

 

Photo Credit: Maggie P Photography

Hebrews 11:1

Faith shows the reality of what we hope for;it is the evidence of things we cannot see. NLT

This little bandit is hoping for a big score in that trash can he has faith to believe it will provide his next meal even though he can’t see it. okay so he is a raccoon and yes while he hopes for his next mean to be in that trash can I don’t know if he has faith or not that it will be in there. We are kind of like that too, we must have faith to believe what we hope for to happen, we may not be able to see what we hope for but we have the faith to believe  it is possible. A few years ago I started another ministry it was my first, I never had one before and I went in it blindly and created what was Simply His Women’s Ministry, it disbanded four years ago as it was a non-profit and there are no grants for non for profit ministries.

So why do I bring this up, because I had to put faith into something I couldn’t see right away but God had his hand in, since then God Styled Life Ministries has evolved and Gods hand is over it, God Styled Life with Maggie P on FaceBook is just one of the social outlets of this ministry and God has been adding to it this segment will be turned into a book one day, event and retreat planning and hosting and God is not finished yet, I can’t see everything ahead but I am trusting God and putting my faith in the fact He will lead me where he wants me to go, He has done great things and is still working on things of the furture and I have faith to trust and believe He will grow this ministry and my faith in him through this journey.

Do you have faith in God for your hopes and dreams? Are you trusting Him for your future?

Have faith for what you hope for even if you can’t see it right now , God has given us each gifts and talents that nobody else has and when he puts it on your heart you must have faith that if He brings you to it , He will see you through it!

Week 35: Sunday, October 3,2021

Calm

Photo Credit: Maggie P Photography

Psalm 131:2

But I have calmed and quieted myself, I am like a weaned child with its mother;like a weaned child I am content.

When I think of calm I think of a child who has been hurt or throwing a tantrum, someone a mother,aunt, baby sitter  tries to calm them to figure out what is wrong. Sometimes it can be a case of just being overly tired, do you ever feel that way overly tired? As I write this segment I find myself, rather our selves in a season where I need calmness, we did really good until the extra money stopped coming in now I find we are already getting in a runt again. I take of the budget and paying of the bills something we agreed on many years ago my husband touches base with me on how things are going. I need calm, much calm.

This situation reminds me of a child who wants to throw a fit but is trying to remain calm, you know , the half cry, half sniffling and trying to calm down , that is me. I stand before God trying not to let my emotions get the best of me, but sniffing and trying to calm down all at the same time. stress has seeped into my life and I am learning to do what the above scripture says to calm and quiet myself. A place of calmness is where I need and want to be right now, I am trusting God for the outcome and laying all this stress at the feet of Jesus. Bring on the calm because God and I have got this. I can do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens me… EVEN THIS!

Week 36: Sunday, October 10,2021

 

Pastor

Photo Credit: Maggie P Photography

Ephesians 4:11-13

So Christ himself gave the apoltles,the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and the teachersto equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unityin the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of christ.

 

God has truly blessed Pastor Rob with great talents, he has been a youth pastor and is now our Senior Pastor. One thing I learned a long time ago is not to put anyone up on a pedestol, we are all perfectly imperfect and that includes our pastors. That being said God knows who to place in the pulpit at just the right time , who knows when that person is ready to step into that position.

Pastors do not have an easy way of it, their family tome gets interrupted, sermon writing has to be done, meetings with staff and that doesn’t include hospital visits. As a body of Christ we are called to come along beside him and the other pastors to life them up in prayer , to help when and where help is needed, they are one person and can’t do it all nor should we expect them to. Our church has a great pastor family not pictured are Chase our youth pastor and Junior our worship pastor. church all over the world let us lift our pastors up in prayer and thank them for serving our churches and being obedient to God and His word.

Pastor’s Rob,Chase and Junior I can’t thank you enough for your service, our family lifts each of you up in prayer, it is a joy and pleasure to serve with each of you. God bless you and your families.

Week 37: Sunday, October 17,2021

 

 

Prayer

 

 

 

Photo Credit: Maggie P Photography

Philippians 4:6

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by PRAYER and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

This is a hard one for me to not be anxious about anything, you see I live with mental health issues that anxity plays a big part, this doesn’t stop me from praying but there are days I just don’t handle things well. I know God is with me and He hears my prayers but I just don’t want to feel like I am always going to Him to fix things. I am truly trying to live Philippians 4:6 to my very best.

What do you do when you have mental health issues that sometimes prevent you from not worrying or cause your stress and anxiety leavels to go through the roof, I feel like the ground is opening up and it is going to swallow me. I am working towards remebering who God is and leaving things at the feet of Jesus, to trust God  and remeber the truths of His word and the above scripture. Do you always present your prayers and petitions with Thanksgiving? 

This may be a struggle , but I am from here on out am going to strive to give it all to God , lay it at his feet and trust Him for the outcome. Prayer should and will be a vitial part of my day, Praise God for new days and a chance to make today better than yesterday!

 

Week 38: Sunday, October 24,2021

 

 

Quiet

 

 

Photo Credit: Maggie P Photography 

Psalm 23:2-3

He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.