The Glory of Spring

Since today is Saturday, I thought I’d just do a short post with a lot of pictures.  I went out the other day and took some pictures in the yard with spring raging all over and I’ll share some of them with you today… and then more will be in here as time goes forward.

The trees are going crazy, life is popping up… some of it is the kind that has to be pulled pretty quick, but all in all it’s a wonderful thing.

Brick sidewalks over a hundred years old can be a lot of work; they do look nice afterwards…

The house across the street where the famous gangster used to live (this is Illinois after all) is getting with the program too

… and of course my house, where another famous gangster used to live, is set off with new life.

Thank you, Lord for the glory of this spring.  It fills our hearts with joy and hope and it declares you to all Mankind.  We can see you at work all around us, we give you praise for your handiwork…

…and we thank you for your provision in every aspect of our lives.

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Spring of Hope

The world around us that has for many months seemed to have died and gone away is coming back to life; hope is in the air!

God has re-awakened nature in all of its splendor, you can see it all around you. It reminds us of our hope that the day will come when we all rise up from death.

The day is coming when we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ; the greatest of all days; it is a time of joy and glory! How can we not be joyous when we think of His resurrection?  How can we not be joyous when we recall that if Jesus rose bodily from the grave, we will too?

Yes, truly there is joy in the air in this season of the year!

Prayerful Contemplation

Quiet time: It is as important to the maintenance of life as food and water… maybe more so.  Of course food and water are essential for physical life, but physical life is not eternal; spiritual life is eternal.

“Today, if you hear his voice, 
   do not harden your hearts.

(Hebrews 4:7)

We are not likely to hear His voice if we don’t take some quiet time for contemplation and prayer, but even if we do we will be more likely to harden our hearts to it; we’re busy people running to and fro after all.  A time of quiet contemplation helps us to focus on what is really important, on what is eternal.

Yes, take some time for quiet and keep your heart open to His leading; everything else will start to clear up when you do, and your walk will be closer to our Lord.

We Bow Down

Abraham Lincoln one said that there are times when he found himself falling to his knees before God, for there was no other place for him to go during the darkest days of Civil War.  I think there are times like that for all of us.

We don’t even need to be enduring bad times to respond in this way, in fact there are times to jump for joy to the Lord, and there are times to fall on our knees in thanksgiving as well.

The most important thing, whether we are living in good times or bad, is to remember that we need to be near to God…

Come, let us bow down in worship, 
   let us kneel before the LORD our Maker; 
 for he is our God 
   and we are the people of his pasture, 
   the flock under his care.

(Psalm 95:6-7)

God is my joy and my sustenance; my happiness and my comfort.

God is my life and my strength; my creator and my redeemed.

The Glory of God

Look around you, what do you see?  Do you see the grandeur of God’s creation?

Even if we live in the city, God’s greatness is all around, and in the springtime it is as grand as it ever can get.  How can we be so callused as not to notice; how can we be so blind as not to see?

Our hearts burst forth with joy; our souls with praise for the One who made us… the one who also saved us!

 For the LORD is the great God, 
   the great King above all gods. 
 In his hand are the depths of the earth, 
   and the mountain peaks belong to him. 
 The sea is his, for he made it, 
   and his hands formed the dry land.

(Psalm 95:3-5)

Those Who’ve Gone Before

It sure is easy to think that nobody has ever lived through the trials and tribulations that we go through, and yet many have done so.  Some times we might think that our modern age is so vastly different that we are breaking new ground every minute… but we aren’t really.

The modern life that we lead in the early 21st century is different in some ways though…  Well, we are using computers aren’t we?

The challenges of every day aren’t really much different from what they were in the 19th century, except maybe for the speed of things.  We worry about our families, making ends meet, keeping our jobs, educating our kids and keeping them out of trouble…  so did they.

We deal with a culture that sometimes acts as if Christians came down from Mars… so did they.

We sometimes wonder about where our lives are headed… so did they.

That’s an important thing to bear in mind; we really aren’t that much different from people of the past.  People in earlier times faced the challenges of their lives and times and came through it all.  They succeeded in one great, awesome and magnificent accomplishment: They passed the Gospel of Jesus Christ on to the next generation so that you and I could have its blessings in our lives today, and in this we own those who have gone before us a great debt of gratitude.

In this light, we must always remember that it is up to us, the Body of Christ in the second decade of the 21st century to ensure that we hand down to the next generation the love and sustenance of our relationships with Jesus Christ.

May we honor those who have gone on before as we lift up the Name that is above all names!