God’s Colorful Creation

Thought for Thursday ~

 

As spring bursts forth everywhere in our area with blossoms and color from God’s creative beauty, I share with your some of my poems that were inspired by His beautiful hand:

 

God Loves the Color Blue

By Terry Harris

 

In God’s creation here on earth

He uses color full

To paint a glorious picture

On His canvas of the world.

 

He paints with colors vibrant

And some more muted still

As with His huge artistic hand

He carries out His will.

 

So many colors everywhere

But one I noticed true

A hue most absent in my flowers

Is the color blue.

 

He paints a hundred flowers pink

And yellow, orange, red;

But not too many blue around

In the flower bed.

 

But then I realized in awe

He does indeed love blue!

Look around at sky and water

There’s abundance of that hue.

 

So even though blue flowers are scarce

God loves that color quaint;

But after painting water and sky,

He just ran out of blue paint!

 

Copyright © Terry Harris 2013

 

God’s Beauty

By Terry Harris

 

God’s awesome beauty all around

I hardly can perceive

Of all that God has given me,

But I do believe

In all His power and all His might

My eyes so clearly blessed.

Upon His glorious creation

God’s beauty brings me rest.

 

The peace of His creation

Blesses my very soul;

But only God and God alone

Can truly make me whole.

 

Copyright © Terry Harris 2013

 

Just my thought for the day…. Have a blessed one!

 

“He has made everything beautiful in its time.”   Ecclesiastes 3:11

 

“Shout with joy to God, all the earth!”     Psalm 66:1

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The Round Block in a Square Hole

Thought for Thursday ~

Years ago when my children were babies someone gave us a wonderful toy. It was actually just an average toy that most little ones possess … a box with different shaped holes in the top and then an assortment of blocks shaped like those holes. But what made this toy so special was that it was all hand-made of wood, a treasured gift. The box itself was a large cube and the top slid out like a drawer. On that top were six holes, all different shapes.

This toy was used by our daughters when they were little and their friends who came over to play. Years later it was passed down to our grandchildren and they loved playing with it, too. Many little hands and fingers have worked hard to put the correct shape into the matching hole. In fact, we still have this toy, even though our grandkids are well past the age of enjoying it.

There were many times that the youngest of the children would pick up a round block or other shape and try to squeeze it into a different shaped hole. They would push and pound and they would usually become very frustrated that the block would not fit. They were so anxious to have it slide through the opening and then fall into the big box where they would hear the gentle thump. They did not understand why they couldn’t make this work. They only thought that if they just pushed harder or banged more, they could make it happen.

Thinking of this toy causes me to recall in my own life how many times I try to fit the round block into the square hole. Not literally a wooden block in the wooden toy, but figuratively regarding the plans of my life. How many times when something does not go the way I planned, do I adjust my plan, change my schedule, or in my own power try and make it work out?!

Sadly, there are many times I do that! I become convinced that if I only push the block harder, pound on it more, and squeeze with all my might, I can make it work. Well, SOMETIMES GOD DOES NOT WANT IT TO WORK!! And by not allowing it to work, He is saying “No, I have a better plan” or “I am protecting you from something harmful” or worse yet, “I am protecting you from yourself”!

Yes, there are times that God closes a door and prevents us from something for all these reasons. Now don’t get me wrong. God has the power to change the shape of the hole to a round hole, if He chooses, so that my round block will fit perfectly. However, if He chooses to NOT change that shape, that means He is closing that door. And it also means that He has a better plan, a perfect plan for me.

We serve a PERFECT and AWESOME God. Our job is to seek His perfect will for us, whatever that is. For me, I sometimes need to know when to stop trying to fit the round block into the square hole.

 

Just my thought for the day…. Have a blessed one!

 

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

  • Jeremiah 29:11

 

 

“I know that You can do all things; no plan of Yours can be thwarted.”

Job 42:2

 

“Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.”

  • Proverbs 19:21

 

 

The Storms of Life

Thought for Tuesday ~

Although we were still experiencing our winter cold weather a few weeks ago, suddenly a few nice warm spring days slipped in and it was an absolute delight! But often when very warm weather comes in the middle of our cold spells, it usually means some turbulent weather, as well. And so with this warm streak we suddenly had a very bad storm, with lots of high winds to go along with it.

A few days later, as my husband and I traveled up to our daughter’s house, we noticed an odd phenomenon. About half way to her house there was a strip about a mile long where there was a great deal of devastation, unlike any other part of the area.   There was speculation about what had caused the damage, but I’m not sure it was ever determined. Could it have been a tornado? Maybe a wind shear? Or maybe even another type of weather occurrence?

Within this one mile stretch we noticed something we had never seen before, even in some of our worst storms. Each of the eight or so homes dotted along this road had several trees around them and throughout their large yards. In each case, nearly every tree on their properties were blown over, uprooted, broken in half, sheared off at the top or otherwise destroyed. The wind that did this had to have been extremely powerful because most of these were very large trees. It was obvious that as they were torn apart and felled, anything else within that area of destruction would have been destroyed, as well.

However, as we looked more closely, we noticed a spectacular sight. These homes were all old, and while most were well taken care of, a few of them were abandoned, appearing quite unstable and nearly falling down themselves. But in each case, NOT ONE HOUSE was destroyed, or even damaged! Some of the trees that were ripped up from the earth were just feet from a home, and yet, those homes were not even touched!

It is still hard for me to imagine how the wind could be forceful enough to uproot an enormous tree and yet leave the house a few feet away completely untouched! Also of all the trees that fell, each fell AWAY from the house, NOT ON IT. God definitely protected those homes because in everything we know about weather, physics, and the natural world, at least the homes that were already beginning to fall down should have been toppled by the force of the wind. And yet they were not!

You know, I can’t help but think of God’s protection in our personal lives, as well. In each of our lives there have been storms that we felt could nearly destroy us. We hold on for dear life as the winds of disaster, pain, hurt and betrayal storm around us. And through that storm, God is there. He is standing close with His strong and mighty arms encircling us for protection. And when the storm is over, we are still standing. God has shielded us from being uprooted and destroyed in the storm.

There have certainly been times in my life where I have felt God protecting me from the storms that would try and overtake me. There is no more wonderful feeling in the world than that of our Heavenly Father standing with us, protecting us, loving us, and shielding us from disaster. We just need to keep our eyes focused on Jesus. Thank You, Lord!

 

Just my thought for the day…. Have a blessed one!

 

 

“You are my hiding place; You will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.”

  • Psalm 32:7

 

“Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me; for in You my soul takes refuge. I will take refuge in the shadow of Your wings until the disaster has passed.”

  • Psalm 57:1

 

“Then He got into the boat and His disciples followed Him.  Without warning, a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping.  The disciples went and woke Him, saying, ‘Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!’ He replied, ‘You of little faith, why are you so afraid?’ Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.”

  • Matthew 8:23-26

Boxing Day

Thought for Thursday ~

 

Have you ever told someone to watch out for something, and then just minutes after, you go and do the very thing that you cautioned them about? I am embarrassed to say that I did just that many years ago soon after John and I were married. We were living in our first house, a cozy little home that was just right for us.

 

Half of the small basement had been finished and I stored things down there like wrapping paper and gift boxes. It was shortly after Christmas and I had placed a small stack of gift boxes on the stairs, about a third of the way down, to be taken to my storage closet down there. As John was getting ready to go down to the basement to do some work, I yelled to him, “watch out for the boxes on the stairs, and don’t slip on them!”

 

Honestly, it was only about five minutes later when I decided to run downstairs to do some laundry. As I was racing down one step after the other, I was also excitedly telling John about some news I had forgotten to share with him earlier. My previous caution to him about the boxes was completely buried in my excited chatter and, without a moment’s warning, I stepped right onto the stack of cardboard.

 

What happed next was not a pretty sight! I fell crashing down onto the wooden stairs and then slid… no, bounced really! … all the way to the bottom, on my bottom! John saw this spectacle and could not believe his eyes. He also could not stop laughing, and he said, “YOU JUST TOLD ME TO WATCH OUT FOR THE BOXES! How is it that you did the very thing that you cautioned me not to do?!”

 

You know, it’s somewhat like being a follower of Christ. We know what we SHOULD do, and we try to lead a sinless life, but it seems that the very thing we try so hard to avoid doing, we, in our human weakness, do anyway! Is there any hope for us?! The good news is, yes there is hope for us! And there is hope because we have a loving, forgiving God who not only cares about us, but who forgives us, and He does it time and time again. In the same way, Jesus tells us in the Bible that we are not to forgive each other seven times, but instead forgive seventy-seven times! And why must we do that? Because Jesus does that for us all the time!

 

Just my thought for the day…. Have a blessed one!

 

“We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do – this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.”

  • Romans 7:24-20

 

 

 

“Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, ‘Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?’ Jesus answered, ‘I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.’ “

  • Matthew 18:21-22

 

 

 

“Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”

  • Colossians 3:13

Bunnies in the Backyard

Thought for Tuesday ~

 

Bunnies are popular little animals, so cute and furry. They are particularly popular around Easter, and often parents will use the excuse of the season to give their children these precious little rabbits as gifts. We have had a couple bunnies who live in the yard behind us and they, or their offspring, appear in our yard each year when spring arrives. We have not seen them yet this spring, so they must not have gotten the word that the blossoms are out and the weather is warmer, but we look for them each day.

 

Often they seem to come munching in our yard just as I am preparing dinner and we can watch them out our kitchen window as we, too, enjoy our meal. Their brown fur, long ears and white cotton tail always amuse me. They just look so precious and innocent and every time I see them in our yard, I want to go scoop them up in my hands and pet them.

 

There have been times when we are outside that they will come very close to us, sometimes so absorbed in their munching of the grass that they fail to notice how perilously close they are to those whom they feel might harm them. Then if we make one slight move or noise, their little ears perk up and they hop, seemingly faster than lightning, across the yard, under the fence, and to the safety of wherever they are living in the next yard. To me, bunnies are one of God’s most precious little creatures. That is until they go from munching on our green lawn to devouring my flowers and plants! OK, so now they are not quite as cute and precious to me as before!

 

One day last summer I planted some Hosta around our cherry tree in the back yard. I had tried before to plant flowers around that tree, but they never seemed to do well. Our yard is sloped so water runs off, and the tree provides much shade, so conditions are not particularly great for plants needing lots of water and sunshine. Even shade-loving flowers did not seem to thrive. So my last resort was Hosta. It likes the shade, for sure, and I tried to help it by watering it when it didn’t rain.

 

After a while, my Hosta was thriving! Thankfully, I had finally found the perfect plant to surround the cherry tree and add some interest to the yard. That is until our bunny discovered my new plants! Oh, good grief! I looked outside one day to see our “precious little bunny” delightfully feasting on my Hosta! I have a feeling, if bunnies could think and talk, he was saying “Gee, how nice of these people to plant me something for dessert!” Within a day, my beautiful Hosta had been reduced to lots of little stubs around the tree. How frustrating!

 

Thinking about my Hosta being devoured by something that appeared so sweet and innocent, made me think about how Satan works. As a wolf in sheep’s clothing, he can devour us, too. He can come disguised as something enticing and good, as he swoops in and begins to lure us into things that are not God’s plan. And as a consequence, He will wreak havoc and devour the happiness we had.

 

Sometimes our lives are going just fine, in fact, better than fine. We don’t have any urgent problems, and life is good. And then, all of a sudden, everything falls apart, evil rears its ugly head, and what was previously happy and sunny, becomes disastrous and painful.

 

It’s important to be aware of Satan’s goals, his methods and his schemes. And because this is spiritual warfare, it’s also important to know that we have a strong spiritual defense. What is that defense? Because God knew that we would encounter Satan and his wiles, He left us instructions in His handbook of life, the Bible. He has shown us how to battle Satan and defeat Satan. In fact, even at the mention of the word JESUS, Satan must flee. Praise the Lord for God’s protection in this spiritual realm!

 

 

Just my thought for the day…. Have a blessed one!

 

“The LORD said to Satan, ‘The LORD rebuke you, Satan! The LORD, who has chosen Jerusalem, rebuke you!’“

  • Zechariah 3:2

 

 

“And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.”

  • 2 Corinthians 11:14

 

 

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

  • Ephesians 6:10-12

The Blessing of the Resurrection

Thought for Thursday ~

 

As we approach Good Friday and Easter, we celebrate the ENTIRE reason for our faith. Christ’s sacrifice for us, for the sins we committed, has given us a place in heaven for all eternity when we give our lives to Him.

The first poem below, The Day Christ Died, was written when I was 15 years old, for a high school contest. The second poem, My Savior’s Love, was recently written as I pondered the immense love that Jesus has for us.

 

THE DAY CHRIST DIED

By Terry Harris

 

That dark and dreary day Christ died

Upon the Cross; a human sacrifice.

He suffered for us, our sins to bear

And looks over us still with loving care.

 

Along the dusty road He bore

The Cross, a symbol evermore.

Dying there, upon the hill,

Through pain and suffering, forgave them still.

With nails pierced through His hands and feet,

He kept that silent look of peace.

 

And as he died, to God he said,

“Father, forgive them, please forgive;

For they know not what they do.”

May we feel that same way, too.

 

May this remind us of that day

When rain from the storm washed away

The human blood of Jesus Christ

Upon the Cross, a human sacrifice.

 

Copyright © Terry Harris 2013

 

 

MY SAVIOR’S LOVE

By Terry Harris

 

My Savior’s love

So pure, complete;

I bow me now

At Jesus’ feet.

 

A love so great

So freely given

Upon the cross

He gave me heaven.

 

My Savior’s love

So pure, complete;

I bow me now

At Jesus’ feet.

 

Though undeserved

Though full of sin;

GOD’s love so great

Allowed me in.

 

My Savior’s love

So pure, complete

I bow me now

At Jesus’ feet.

 

Copyright © Terry Harris 2013

 

 

 

Just my thought for the day…. Have a blessed one!

 

 

“Jesus said, ‘Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.’ “  

  • Luke 23:34

 

 

“But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by His grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.”      

  • Titus 3: 4-7

Lightning Strikes

Thought for Tuesday ~

 

Thunder storms intrigue me, and I love watching the lightning light up the night sky, often with a flash that illuminates everything around us and then waiting for the blare of thunder. Hearing the crack of thunder, sometimes loud enough to shake the windows, to me is awesome, as well. However, when I was a child, I don’t remember that I loved thunderstorms that much! At that point in my life, they seemed a little more frightening.

 

On one particular occasion I recall a thunder storm of epic proportions. It was nighttime and everyone was in bed. The lightning seemed so sharp and piercing that I was sure it was striking our house every time. And the thunder nearly required earplugs because it was so loud. My mother had gotten up to check on my brother and me, and since I was awake, I got out of bed to be with her.

 

As we walked through our tiny living room, I stuck right by her side. She went over to the window to look out and just as she leaned over to peer through the crack in the curtains, her elbow knocked over a large framed picture sitting on the table next to the window. Her anxiety about thunder storms probably rivaled mine, and when the picture came crashing down with a loud noise, she reacted as though the lightning had just struck her! With a loud scream she jumped and ran, with me close behind, right into the bedroom! It had to have been a hilarious sight!

 

I had seen that it was the framed picture that had crashed, but she did not. She was sure we had been hit. When things calmed down and she got her wits about her, I was able to explain that it was the picture crashing off the table that made that noise. We all had laughs about it later as we thought how silly that was.

 

The acronym for FEAR is False Evidence Appearing Real. That was exactly what happened to my mother. The lightening really did NOT strike our house, but in her anxiety and panic, she thought it did. And she was very fearful.

 

Have you ever been fearful of something, maybe even something that was not real? Or maybe it was something very real and truly frightening. Either way, anxiety is real. However, we have some amazing promises from God. He will be with us in our fear and anxiety and He promises to strengthen us and help us. And I especially love the visual in Psalms where He tells us that He will cover us with His wings to protect us. What a beautiful image! And what a wonderful God! Thank You, Lord!

 

Just my thought for the day…. Have a blessed one!

 

“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.’ You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday.”

  • Psalm 91:1-2; 5-6

 

 

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

  • Isaiah 41:10

 

 

“Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me, for in You my soul takes refuge. I will take refuge in the shadow of Your wings until the disaster has passed.”

  • Psalm 57:1